Yes, malpractice reform should be a major focus of health reform. Doctors claim one reason their office visits and other services cost so much is because of the exorbitantly high premiums insurance companies charge them for malpractice insurance. The insurance companies say they have to charge these premiums because of the unrealistically large awards that are granted in malpractice suits. Then on the bottom, we have lawyers who are advertising all over television to represent you in a malpractice suit. If we could find a way to reform the whole malpractice process, from limiting the dollar amounts of awards to limiting the dollar amounts lawyers could receive, then requiring insurance companies to decrease premiums based on need, we will have dealt with a very high dollar area of the health problem.
In many cases, one instance of malpractice can end a good doctor's career, even if it was not full malpractice in the sense of the word. There are too many lawyers out there trying to bring people down for virtually anything these days, and the more doctors have to worry about malpractice, the more risks and costs are assessed to patients.
Yes, malpractice reform should be a major focus of health reform because it has gotten out of hand. We all, as consumers, end up paying for these exorbitant awards as the medical profession pays increasingly higher malpractice insurance premiums. Malpractice is a serious issue but the only ones who really benefit from the huge awards are the attorneys.
I do not think malpractice reform should be a focus during a health reform, at least not currently. Malpractice happens all the time, most of the time it is unintentional. There are way more issues with our health system, unrelated to malpractice. I think that is something hospitals and health care administrations should continue to try to improve, but I do not think that should be involved in healthcare reform.