Since conservatives have long held a grudge against an ‘activist judiciary’, imposing any legislative regulation is generally supported. In this case, ‘lowering health care costs’ is simply the argument used to further a larger movement of ‘judicial reform’. Conservatives are well aware that providing immunity to doctors is not only immoral, but generally considered unconstitutional. Of course though, through a conservative interpretation of the Constitution, individuals to not have the right to bring a lawsuit.
While it is somewhat agreeable that providing immunity to doctors will allow them to stop practicing ‘defensive medicine’, it is still not constitutional. An individual has a right to bring a lawsuit, especially against a doctor who incorrectly performed medicine. Even though costs have a potential for lowering, it does not allow a legislature to remove a long standing right to bring those lawsuits. If and when an individual abuses the system, their case is likely to be dismissed, and there is the potential for that individual to be prosecuted. Simply because there is a high potential for abuse, does not allow a legislature to outright deny people’s ability to sue.
In addition, the conservative agenda to quash judiciary abilities is pure violation of the separation of powers among the branches. A Legislature passing laws limiting a citizens use of the court system is simply unconstitutional. Under no interpretation of the Constitution should such a dangerous ideology be accepted.
In all, this is like any long standing issue about sacrificing the rights of the few to better the majority. Even more with this issue though, the high potential for abuse, and long history of judicial activism in pursuing doctors has prompted many legislative attempts to provide immunity. While the health care reform debate was ongoing, there was a larger push for ‘tort reform’ than ever. The only problem was, ‘tort reform’ was a conservative suggestion to ‘fixing health care’, and thankfully, not included in the health care law, which already limits freedom enough.
The real way to provide health care to more people at a cheaper price is to break down the barriers of competition. If a legislature were to allow interstate health insurance, instead of the current intrastate restriction, people would have more options. When more companies are competing for the consumer, prices have nowhere to go but down. Unfortunately, if Republicans attempt their approach to reforming health care, they will probably be just as reckless in recognizing individual rights as Democrats were. ‘Tort reform’ is an extraordinarily dangerous practice of a legislature, and ultimately should not be instituted.