To the editor:
When can we count on the Republican leadership to tell the truth about health care? When can we count on our Republican members of the Senate and the House of Representatives to work for real health care reform on behalf of us, their constituents?
This morning on CNN Sen. Grassley of Iowa was claiming that the proposal to do something about tort reform would save 10 percent of the costs of health care, a “real savings.” However, according to Grassley, the Democrats would not include these cost-saving Republican proposals on tort reform in the legislation.
Reports have circulated that in the states that have adopted tort reform provisions the savings have been around 1 percent or 2 percent. A report from Congressional Budget Office notes that only negligible savings could be expected.
President Bush, in his push for tort reform, said that $60 billion to $108 billion a year could be saved, and now Grassley is providing roughly the same numbers. However in two new economic papers published only last month, CBO concludes that limiting malpractice liability would reduce total national health care spending by about one-half of 1 percent, or about $11 billion this year, about $41 billion over the next decade in lower Medicare, Medicaid and other federal spending for health care.
While every billion dollars in possible savings should be seriously considered we need to be able to count on reliable information from our congressional representatives regardless of party affiliation.