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Congressional Concession On Medical Malpractice Awards Will Not Lower Health Care Costs And Will Hurt Patients' Rights, Washington, DC Attorney Says
Date:3/6/2010

Lawyer Michael A. Abelson says proposed curbs address an illusion instead of the real problem — doctors committing preventable errors.

Washington, DC (PRWEB) March 6, 2010 -- Michael Abelson, a personal injury lawyer in Maryland and Washington, DC, says proposed limits on damage awards in medical malpractice lawsuits would not lower health care costs but could instead deprive injured patients of their right to appropriate compensation.

Abelson, the founder of the Abelson Law Firm, which concentrates on personal injury and medical malpractice cases, said, “There is no evidence that cutting awards to injured patients will cut overall health care costs. There is obvious evidence that limiting potential penalties for doctors will limit protections for patients.”

Congressional Republicans supported limits on malpractice payments at a healthcare forum with President Obama last week. The President has not endorsed such limits, but said this week that he is open to funding state experiments with “health courts” as an alternative to the current system of resolving medical malpractice claims through jury trials. In theory, health courts would make it faster and less expensive for injured patients to press claims, but the courts would also award smaller amounts.

Abelson said a report from the National Practitioner Data Bank released this week shows that calls for malpractice payment limits and changes in tort law address the false impression that litigation drives up health care expenses. The Data Bank report shows that total malpractice payments have been dropping for years while h
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