Why there is no tort reform from Democrats


From The Washington Post:

Tort Reform Could Save $54 Billion, CBO Says

Congressional budget analysts said Friday that lawmakers could save as much as $54 billion over the next decade by imposing an array of new limits on medical malpractice lawsuits — 10 times more than previously estimated.

New research shows that legal reforms would not only lower malpractice insurance premiums for medical providers, but also would spur providers to save money by ordering fewer tests and procedures aimed primarily at defending their decisions in court, Douglas W. Elmendorf, director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, wrote in a letter to Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah).

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From OpenSecrets.org:

American Assn for Justice

Formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA), this group of plaintiffs’ attorneys and others in the legal profession now goes by the name of the American Association for Justice (AAJ) and boasts 56,000 members worldwide. A lobbying heavyweight, the association has been battling any attempt at tort reform, including recent proposals to cap awards in medical malpractice lawsuits. AAJ also lobbies Congress on any legislation that may inhibit the ability of consumers to bring lawsuits, particularly against health care providers, asbestos companies or insurance companies processing claims related to terrorism. The association favors Democrats, who oppose most attempts to initiate tort reform.

American Association for Justice
Election Cycle Total Contributions Contributions to Democrats Contributions to Republicans Percent to Democrats Percent to Republicans
2010 $1,117,500 $1,073,000 $43,500 96% 4%

 
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Lawyers/Law Firms
Election Cycle Total Contributions Contributions to Democrats Contributions to Republicans Percent to Democrats Percent to Republicans
2010 $33,779,866 $27,220,236 $6,521,418 81% 19%

 
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I am in this race to tell the corporate lobbyists that their days of setting the agenda in Washington are over. I have done more than any other candidate in this race to take on lobbyists — and won. They have not funded my campaign, they will not run my White House, and they will not drown out the voices of the American people when I am president.

— Barack Obama, Des Moines, IA, 2007.11.10

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