One of the contributing factors to your doctor visit costing you an arm and a leg (a pitiful attempt at punditry, I know) is medical malpractice insurance that hospitals and physicians have to pay these days. I know it comes as a shock, but, yes, they pass that cost on to you.
Well, apparently the state of Virginia - along with a handful of others - is trying to do something about it.
Virginia law caps medical malpractice awards at about $1.75 million, and the legislature has enacted other changes aimed at making it tougher to sue doctors. The result, many say, is that malpractice insurance has been available and relatively affordable in Virginia.Of course there is opposition to these changes - from malpractice lawyers.
But doctors and hospital groups say they will press for more limits, including a stricter cap on damages for pain and suffering. They have the support of some Republican lawmakers, who have made such changes a priority for the legislative session. (link)
There are a number of things that can be done to make healthcare more affordable. This is a big one. Get behind your legislators and get necessary malpractice law reform passed.
Opponents of stricter caps on damage awards in Virginia and the District say such legislation will do little to bring down the soaring costs of malpractice insurance for doctors. They say limiting the damages is an affront to people who are seriously injured at the hands of negligent doctors.
"If you make it hard enough for an injured victim to bring a suit, you become bulletproof from even the worst negligence," said Chuck Zauzig, a malpractice lawyer in Northern Virginia.