In yet another attempt to keep individuals from accessing the court system to get justice, the Georgia General Assembly is considering a bill that would take med mal lawsuits out of the court system and turn them over to a state board.
Alpharetta republican Senator Brandon Beach is sponsoring the measure. According to Senator Beach, a recent poll found that more than $13 million was spent on unnecessary medical procedures. He posits that this was due to fears that healthcare providers will be held liable for failing to diagnose a problem, and that this is what is leading to higher health care costs. “And I think this bill reduces the cost of defensive medicine. And it increases the true patient access to justice quickly,” Senator Beach says.
I would beg to differ. As I’ve blogged many times, numerous studies have shown that tort reform has little to no impact on health care costs. In my opinion, the only beneficiaries of legislation like this are large insurance companies and health care providers that should be held liable for their mistakes.
Jay Sadd, President of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, agrees, “They attempt to expand government by this bill through a taxpayer-funded bureaucracy to resolve cases of medical malpractice. And we just see no need to do that, particularly in the current environment, if ever.”
Mr. Sadd goes on to argue that the bill is unconstitutional as it violates the 7th Amendment right to trial by jury. He says, “What is being attempted is to create a system of justice where doctors and other healthcare providers just sort of govern themselves.”
This should be very concerning for the citizens of the State of Georgia.
A full reporting on the issue can be read here.
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