The insurers bid to fix health care

It's the elimination of redress for malpractice which really stands out here. If your broker can lock you out of court, why can't your doctor?

Henry IV, Part II, from Shakespeare.orgThe health insurance industry, which some feel has created the health care crisis, has some proposals to fix it all.

The proposals were sent, in press release form, as a set of principles for reform the industry claims could save $146 billion by 2015.

High on the list, as in Henry IV Part II, is the idea that we kill all the lawyers. (The picture is from a plot summary of the play at Shakespeare.org.)

Not literally, but taking lawyers out of the health care system is a top priority:

Replace the current medical liability system with a dispute resolution process consisting of an objective, independent administrative process to provide quick and fair resolution to disputes while promoting evidence-based medicine.

That's working so well in the credit card industry. And have you noticed big differences in malpractice premiums between states which have implemented "tort reform"and those which haven't? Me neither.

Admittedly this proposal goes further. No more lawsuits for medical malpractice, ever. Instead it all goes to an arbitration panel controlled by the industry.

The other proposals here are boilerplate. Let consumers learn more. Computerize everything. Reward high-quality care with higher payments (to be determined by the industry's computers). Emphasize prevention.

No, it's the elimination of redress for malpractice which really stands out here. Hey, if your broker can lock you out of court, why can't your doctor?