Brewtown Politico

Carrying a little stick and speaking loudly in Milwaukee


Malpractice cap won't curb cost of health care

Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle signed a cap on malpractice awards today, taking another issue away from wanna-be governors Scott Walker and Mark Green.

Both sides argued that this was an important issue for one reason or another. The reality is that malpractice lawsuits have a negligible effect on the cost of health care. As this article in the Wisconsin State Journal mentions, liability costs account for between 0.4% to 2% of the cost of health insurance. If we are going to address the growing problem of the cost of health care, and providing access to it, we need to move beyond largely symbolic measures like this one.

Rep. Jon Richards (D-Milwaukee) and Rep. Curt Gielow (R-Mequon) have proposed the Wisconsin Health Plan, which would cover residents under the age of 65 by allowing them to purchase coverage the same way state legislators do. It's too bad there isn't more leadership in the GOP led legislature to move this plan forward.


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