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Rising Health Care Costs

You don’t have to tell me that the cost of health-care is high. I just had a baby in February. We had a complicated pregnancy, requiring more tests than my first pregnancy. I am fortunate enough to have health insurance, but the plan is a high deductible one and once we’ve reached the deductible, our co-pay is still 15%.

Needless to say, we’ve paid a lot of bills out-of-pocket this year.

Despite this, like a lot of personal injury lawyers, I don’t believe that tort reform is a valid way to decrease the cost of health insurance. The idea behind tort reform is: “let’s put an upper limit on how much money a person can recover if they’re hurt in an accident and this will cause health care prices to go down.”

Tom Baker, a professor of law and health sciences at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, who has studied this issue has concluded that there is a declining rate of lawsuits compared to medical malpractice that occurs.
Tom Baker, a professor of law and health sciences at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, who has studied this issue has concluded that there is a declining rate of lawsuits compared to medical malpractice that occurs. I tend to agree with his analysis set forth in this New York Times article.

A recent article on American doctor’s salaries suggests that one reason the cost of health care in this country is higher than in other countries is because doctors make more money in this country.

I have mixed feelings about this assertion. I think that doctors should make more money than other professions. The cost of a doctor’s mistake is much higher than in a lot of other professions. If a doctor makes a mistake, it can literally lead to death. That’s a lot of responsibility and risk.

I’m glad that I don’t have to make decisions about how to cut the costs of health care because it’s a complex area. I know what won’t work, but what will? What’s your two-cents?

About the Author

Rebecca RutzRebecca “Becky” Henning-Rutz graduated from the University of Montana with her law degree in 2006 and has been working in Kalispell ever since. Becky has been working as an associate for Henning, Keedy & Lee since 2007.View all posts by Rebecca Rutz →

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