The Trial Lawyer Tax Break?


The American Medical Association and 90 other medical groups have just come out against a proposed tax code change that would allow trial lawyers to deduct certain litigation expenses, a change that might encourage those lawyers to file additional lawsuits. As Fox News reports:

The coalition of medical groups sent [Treasury Secretary Tim] Geithner a letter Wednesday, stating its case, including a recent report by the AMA that found 95 medical liability claims were filed for every 100 physicians and that 65 percent of the claims are dropped or dismissed. Average defense costs range up to more than $100,000 and take physicians away from patient care.

"Any increase in the number of lawsuits filed will add unnecessary costs to our health care system," [former AMA president J. James] Rohack said. "Many physicians are forced to practice defensive medicine to protect themselves from meritless lawsuits. The U.S. government estimates the cost of defensive medicine to be between $70-126 billion per year."

Read the whole thing here. Elsewhere in Reason: Ronald Bailey says don't cry for the ambulance chasers.