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Strengthening Healthcare

Raising Health Care Costs

  • The medical liability crisis is raising health care costs, including adding billions to Federal spending.
  • Doctors alone had to pay over $6 billion in medical liability premiums last year, and premiums this year in many states have increased by more than 20% on average and more than 75% for specialties in some states.
  • In addition, the costs of "defensive" medicine -- additional, unnecessary tests and treatments that help avoid frivolous lawsuits but do not improve patient health -- add many billions more to American health expenditures.
  • Altogether, medical liability adds $60 to 110 billion to the costs of health care each year -- higher health insurance premiums and higher medical costs for all Americans.
  • Excessive medical liability also adds $30 to $60 billion annually to Federal government payments for Medicare, Medicaid, the State Children's Health Insurance Program, Veterans' Administration health care, health care for Federal employees, and other government programs. It also accounts for billions in additional tax deductions for the added costs of liability of employer health insurance coverage.

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