That Was Tort Reform?

By September 10, 2009Briefly Legal, Health Care

The Wall Street Journal’s Kim Strassel is very, very tough on President Obama’s speech on health care Wednesday, finding within the tort reform rhetoric more status quo trial lawyer. From “The President’s Tort Two-Step“:

On Wednesday the president told Congress “I will not stand by while the special interests use the same old tactics to keep things exactly the way they are.” In fact, the administration is standing by to allow its most special, special interest to drive this debate. What the tort bar wants, the tort bar gets. Health insurers should be so lucky.

The legal question has become the starkest symbol of a broken health discussion, and offers insight into this presidency. For Republicans, legal reform has become a litmus test, proof that Democrats have no interest in a deal, and therefore a reason to step back. For many Americans, legal reform has become proof that President Obama is more interested in an ideological triumph than his stated goal of lowering health costs.

Another reason for skepticism? From The Heritage Foundation, “Obama Taps Ex-Trial Lawyer Lobbyist To Lead Tort Reform.” That would be Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of Health and Human Services, who used to be head of the Kansas Trial Lawyers Association.

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