Critical Condition

Will Obamacare Pre-Empt State-Level Reform?

Joe Nixon thinks so:

Through the establishment of a national “standard of care” and subsequent medical regulations, state laws imposed on all medical providers and tort claimants will be nullified. The hard work done by state legislators to allow doctors to provide care they believe is medically necessary and to protect doctors from meaningless harassment will be replaced by a committee which will tell doctors where they can practice, what they can charge, and the manner in which they can help their patients. Any deviation could result in a suit.

In Texas, for example, doctors are immune from suit when they donate their service to charity care. All of the medical providers who gave so generously to our neighbors from Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina did so with the confidence they could not be sued. A federal pre-emption ends that protection.

Only in Washington, D.C. would someone come up with the idea that to “fix” health care we need to sue doctors more often.

I had assumed that the Democrats would be content just to leave the tort bar be; in fact, they’re preparing to give them a nice, juicy gift in the form of essentially nullifying state-level tort-reform measures.