Health court may be good medicine for ailing system

What others say

Posted: Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Virtually everyone agrees that the system of paying for health care is out of whack. Lawsuits, or perhaps more accurately fear of lawsuits, are frequently cited as the culprit. Yet ask what to do to solve the problem and the blame game begins. Doctors blame insurance companies, insurance companies blame juries, and on it goes.

There is an innovative bipartisan proposal worth consideration, however. Sens. Michael Enzi, R-Wyo., and Max Baucus, D-Mont., have recently introduced a bill to fund special health courts for five years in 10 states.

These courts would handle only medical malpractice cases, and the judges presiding in them would be experts in medical malpractice. ...

One of the theories is that a health court would encourage medical practitioners to be more open about mistakes, particularly if they knew the consequences would be within limits. ...

This proposal may not be the cure-all some have suggested, but it's an elixir worth trying.

— Star-Ledger, Newark, N.J.,

July 18

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