Is Tort Reform Really On The Table?

From The Political and Financial Markets Commentator

The Chances That Tort Reform Is A Reality

We all heard the gratuitous line concerning tort reform issued by President Obama in his speech pushing for passage of his healthcare bill. While creation of the bill in its’ current form has been extremely partisan in nature, the President made this statement as an apparent “overture” to the Republican Party.

There is little doubt that frivolous lawsuits help to increase the cost of healthcare through higher malpractice insurance premiums, as well as what the doctors see as the need to practice “defensive” medicine.

Now obviously not all lawsuits are frivolous, and there are too many tragic stories of true medical malpractice to count, but one only has to watch the myriad of commercials from lawyers seeking plaintiffs to know that this can be an extremely lucrative field. So lucrative that any negative outcome, no matter how well the doctor performed, is considered by many to be grounds to sue.

Need a personal injury lawyer? Go to one of the hundreds of websites offering this service, pick from the menu, and you are on your way:
  • Auto Accidents
  • Dog Bites
  • Slip and Fall
  • Nursing Home Litigation
  • Railroad Accidents
  • Personal Injury Basics
  • Etc.
Nobody would ever deny the rights of those truly harmed by medical malpractice to receive just compensation, but not someone who may just be a dissatisfied customer seeing an opportunity.

Who Helps To Stand In The Way Of Tort Reform? The American Association For Justice

Who is this group, and what is its’ purpose?


(Open Secrets)”Formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA), this group of plaintiffs’ attorneys and others in the legal profession now goes by the name of the American Association for Justice (AAJ) and boasts 56,000 members worldwide. A lobbying heavyweight, the association has been battling any attempt at tort reform, including recent proposals to cap awards in medical malpractice lawsuits. AAJ also lobbies Congress on any legislation that may inhibit the ability of consumers to bring lawsuits, particularly against health care providers, asbestos companies or insurance companies processing claims related to terrorism. The association favors Democrats, who oppose most attempts to initiate tort reform.”

How Much Does The AAJ Contribute, And To Which Party Do Its Contributions Typically Go?

Cycle Total Democrats Republicans % to Dems % to Repubs Individuals PACs Soft (Indivs) Soft (Orgs)
2010 $627,000 $603,000 $24,000 96% 4% $1,000 $626,000 $0 $0
2008 $2,991,290 $2,845,540 $140,750 95% 5% $19,790 $2,971,500 $0 $0
2006 $2,841,440 $2,707,990 $120,950 95% 4% $22,440 $2,819,000 $0 $0
2004 $2,595,082 $2,384,582 $205,500 92% 8% $56,083 $2,538,999 $0 $0
2002 $4,248,588 $3,884,653 $348,935 91% 8% $25,750 $3,119,753 $0 $1,103,085
2000 $4,057,100 $3,624,550 $427,550 89% 11% $17,400 $3,059,500 $0 $980,200
1998 $3,117,776 $2,685,440 $417,336 86% 13% $12,590 $2,690,136 $250 $414,800
1996 $3,486,888 $2,982,788 $489,100 86% 14% $29,050 $2,654,438 $0 $803,400
1994 $2,509,538 $2,320,788 $187,750 93% 8% $11,503 $2,411,535 $0 $86,500
1992 $2,539,785 $2,297,085 $225,000 90% 9% $8,900 $2,530,885 $0 $0
1990 $1,719,942 $1,460,092 $259,850 85% 15% $9,342 $1,710,600 N/A N/A
TOTAL $30,734,429 $27,796,508 $2,846,721 90% 9%

Courtesy of OpenSecrets.org

As long as there is a great amount of money to be gotten from this organization, your leaders, primarily on the left, will do little or nothing about tort reform. Don’t ever bite the hand that feeds you, right?

As the chart above shows, the breakdown is that currently 96% of the contributions made by the AAJ goes to Democrats. How do you think that they will vote on any legislation that may impact this group, no matter how beneficial to their constituents that legislation may be.

I guess that’s just politics.