Republicans Should Drop ‘Med Mal’ Reform

“It’s a distraction—and overrated.”

Over at, one of my favorite physicians, Dr. Jeffrey Singer, offers a persuasive “Case Against National Medical Malpractice Reform.”

Taking the “skunk at the picnic” position relative to his own profession, Dr. Singer summarizes the research literature and finds some of the more popular ‘med mal’ reforms are not all they’re cracked up to be.

Singer takes a strictly fact-based, clinical sort of perspective—what actually works?—but he also notes the strong legal case for keeping ‘med mal’ a state issue, citing a growing list of conservative and libertarian thinkers—people like Ken Cuccinelli and Randy Barnett—who oppose continuing efforts by Republican leaders and their K Street business allies to nationalize local civil justice rules.

Dr. Singer concludes:

This doctor is all for tort reform. But it should be done on the state level. Republicans should drop malpractice reform from their health care reform checklist. It’s a distraction from the main goal of health care freedom, and it is probably unconstitutional. It’s also overrated.


Be sure to check out the full piece at

Dean Clancy, a former senior budget official in the George W. Bush administration and senior policy advisor to congressional Republicans, writes on U.S. fiscal, health policy, and constitutional issues. Follow him at or on twitter @deanclancy.


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