By Julian Pecquet - 07/20/11 02:31 PM EDT
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has estimated that medical liability reform could shave 0.5 percent off national healthcare costs. Half the savings are expected to come from lower medical malpractice rates, and the other half from a decrease in "defensive medicine" — additional testing and screening, for example — that doctors are believed to practice so they can't be accused of having done too little for patients.
Consumer Watchdog's statement points to a past letter to President Obama's deficit commission that questioned the savings assumptions for tort reform. One of the group's arguments is that any savings from a hypothetical reduction in defensive medicine would be offset by an increase in negligence.