Supposing the passage of medical malpractice reform, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) upped their projected savings to $54 billion from $5 billion over the next 10 years. Several lawmakers, particularly former ambulance chasers, were not satisfied with the new estimates and asked for more detail.
Last week, the CBO sent an 8-page letter to Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa), who was once the head of Iowa’s trial lawyer association, to answer his concerns about savings and reform would result in loss of care.
The CBO explained that the new estimates are larger, in part, because “they incorporate the effect of a gradual reduction in the utilization of health care services resulting from changes in the practice patterns of providers” such as fewer “defensive medicine” expenses; and “a proportionately larger reduction in federal spending on health care than in other spending on health care.”
As for any changes in care, no one can answer that one. The suggestion is that fewer tests may result in poorer outcomes. However, the reduction of those extra tests, which are potentially unnecessary other than to cover the provider’s liability, would definitely result in savings. You can read the full letter here.