Ramesh Ponnuru Judson Phillips Oppose Federal Medmal Limits in GOP Bill



Two more movement conservatives have examined the new healthcare bill proposed by some House Republicans and oppose the section mandating federal limits on medical liability.

Ramesh Ponnuru, respected conservative author and columnist at National Review, wrote about the bill on Bloomberg. While he approves of many of the proposals in the bill as a replacement for Obamacare, he opposes the federal medical malpractice limits in the bill.

And medical malpractice reform, as popular as it is among Republicans, shouldn’t be done at the federal level. Medical torts have traditionally been regulated by states, and states have the incentive to set their policies on it the right way — because their residents will pay the price if they don’t.”

This isn’t the first time Ponnuru has opposed federal medmal caps; he’s a consistent federalist. After Pres. Obama mentioned the idea in the 2011 State of the Union speech, Ponnuru dismissed it in two sentences: “Great: President Obama is open to one of the Republicans’ crummiest ideas. There’s no need for a federal takeover of medical-malpractice rules.” (Emphasis added.)

Judson Phillips, founder of Tea Party Nation, continued his consistent defense of Constitutional rights in a post about the bill. His comments:

With great fanfare, the Republican Study Committee unveiled a new plan yesterday to repeal Obamacare with “The American Health Care Reform Act.”  One of the sections of the bill is designed to kill the bill.

That section is Title V of the bill, which is called “Reforming Medical Liability Law.”  Translating that into plain English, it is tort reform

Under this section, the Federal Government will take control of state court systems and tell states what limits are imposed on medical malpractice lawsuits.

This law is bad on a number of fronts.  First, it shreds the Seventh Amendment of the Constitution. The Tenth Amendment of the Constitution specifies that the powers not given to the Federal Government are reserved to the states.  Tort law has always been reserved to the states.  This is just another federal power grab, this time authored by Republicans

The bill repeats the old claim that lawsuits are driving up the cost of medical care.  Texas has thoroughly disproved that theory.  Texas imposed draconian medical malpractice reform and what happened?  Medical costs have not dropped but if a doctor commits malpractice on you, good luck getting a lawyer to sue.  It is now almost impossible to get a lawyer to take a medical malpractice case in Texas.”

He discussed the issue on the Mark McCaig Show, broadcast on Houston radio station KNTH AM1070 – here is the link to the podcast.