The New York Times has more on Rep. Jim Moran’s town hall meeting in Reston last night, during which the topic of tort reform came up. A member of the audience rose to ask the question, and Moran demanded to see his driver’s license, calling him an “imposter.” The Times continues:
The man then asked why tort reform was not part of any health overhaul.
Dr. Dean replied that the more items in a big bill, the more enemies it will have. “The people who wrote it did not want to take on the trial lawyers in addition to everyone else,” Dr. Dean said.
Dr. Dean also said he believed that patients should be able to bring actions against health care professionals, but they should go to arbitration. Then the case could go to trial, he said, but the arbitration verdict should be submitted as evidence. Not much reaction to that either way.
Mr. Moran then apologized to the man whose identity he had questioned and added his two cents about why tort reform was not part of any bill. He said if it were, such a bill would have to go through the judiciary committee, which he said was one of the most partisan in Congress and would never have reported it out.
Why was Dean there, anyway?
UPDATE (4:50 p.m.): The American Tort Reform Association gives Dr. Dean his due, in a news release, “Howard Dean v. Trial Lawyers,” with the secondary headline, “At Town Hall Meeting, Former Practicing Physician and DNC Chief Candidly Explains Why Commonsense Tort Reform Measures Are Absent from Health Care Legislation.”
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