In it, but not of it. TPM DC

CBO Predicts Modest Savings From Medical Malpractice Reform

Newscom / Scott J. Ferrell

  • A cap of $250,000 on awards for noneconomic damages;

  • A cap on awards for punitive damages of $500,000 or two times the award for
    economic damages, whichever is greater;

  • Modification of the "collateral source" rule to allow evidence of income from
    such sources as health and life insurance, workers' compensation, and automobile
    insurance to be introduced at trials or to require that such income be subtracted
    from awards decided by juries;

  • A statute of limitations--one year for adults and three years for children--from
    the date of discovery of an injury; and

  • Replacement of joint-and-several liability with a fair-share rule, under which a
    defendant in a lawsuit would be liable only for the percentage of the final award
    that was equal to his or her share of responsibility for the injury.
  • A bit of good news for Hatch, though it comes after Republicans have spent two days diminishing the importance of CBO findings, after the agency determined the Senate Finance Committee health care bill would be a deficit reducer.

    Obama announced plans to begin experimenting with tort reform at the state level during his health care speech to Congress last month.

    About The Author


    Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at