Question: Mellisa, Kent
Does your stance on "meaningful tort reform" allow for legitimate lawsuits when a person is truly harmed? Will your tort reform laws allow for full funding the legitimate needs of the injured?How will the law determine what is legitimate? I worry that people who deserve settlements would not receive true justice if tort reform laws are too strict in favor of big business. I also fear that insurance companies would still continue to raise rates regardless whether there was a tort law or not.
Melissa, I thank you for your questions on tort reform and healthcare. I approach these matters as a patient--I've been a type 1, insulin dependent, diabetic for nearly 40-years--not as a lawyer, which I am not. In Louisiana, we reduced medical costs by capping tort damages to $500,000. Suits and damages abound with malpractice events, but reasonable caps seem to have made a difference. Three great costs drivers of escalating medical costs include the increase of lawsuits without damage limits, the protection of giant pharmaceutical companies from price competition within and without the country, and the geographical monopoly given the giant insurance industry by excluding it from the scrutiny of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. Currently, you cannot buy medical insurance across state lines. Sweet monopoly! I will take on all three. A patient receiving harmful treatment should and does have the right to sue. I wouldn't change that. I would cap it at some reasonable level and index the cap to allow for inflation relief. Three tough battles with no slam-dunk conclusions for these three industries which are among the top three political contributors in America. It's why I don't accept their money. I have a $100 limit and accept no PAC money. These are perilous times and I expect our next President to be Free to Lead a Rising America. I will be. Help me if you can.