Price’s Health Reform Hit From The Right

I recently discussed Rep. Tom Price, MD’s Empowering Patients First Act in quite positive terms. Not everyone is on board. My good friend Dean Clancy labels the bill Health Care Cronyism:

Section 401, for example, authorizes new federal “best practice” guidelines written by medical societies, designed to give physicians extra protections from malpractice lawsuits. These guidelines aren’t merely educational, though. They’re established as powerful litigation tools in state courts. If a physician can show he followed them, his accuser must meet a higher burden of proof to establish negligence. That may be a good idea, but it’s unconstitutional. The power to regulate civil justice is reserved to the states under our federal system. There’s neither a legal nor a practical justification for federal medical malpractice reform. States have this. They can reform their tort systems, and many have done so, with success.

Mr. Clancy and I are in complete agreement that Congress has no role meddling in medical malpractice. So, why did I ignore this part of Dr. Price’s bill and leave Mr. Clancy prime real estate in U.S. News & World Report to lay into it?

We are in the final period of health reform. If Republicans were going to have a perfect bill, we would have seen it by now. We don’t cheerlead Republicans (as you know from my challenges to the flawed Medicare so-called “doc fix”). On the other hand, when we see a proposal that includes NCPA’s longstanding proposal of a universal, refundable tax credit that eats in to Medicaid, too, we choose to accentuate the positive, and eliminate the negative.

Comments (3)

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  1. Erik says:

    So what you are saying John is, “we committed the sin of omission to make the Republicans look good.”

    which is the same thing as knowing this Republican Bill is a farce and should not see the light of day.

    I agree…

  2. I agree that Obamacare is a failure and the the Republicans are still sucking wind. Hospitals are still killing more people than the diseases they are treating.