Use executive power to pursue tort reform

During the State of the Union speech, President Obama mentioned at least a dozen executive actions he planned to take. Most would fall under the heading of "Middle Class Security and Economic and Educational Opportunities." It surprised me then, given the disastrous rollout of his signature medical plan, that he failed to propose any actions that would smooth the road forward and deliver on the promised cost savings.

Given that 2014 is his "year of action," I propose that the president handle tort reform with an executive action. Now that would take some guts! It has been estimated that medical costs could be reduced by as much as 30 percent if the medical professionals didn't feel pressured to order every test imaginable just to protect them from the possibility of a future lawsuit.

Instead of fiddling around with mileage standards for long-haul truckers, why not really man up and take on the lawyers? Order some caps on damages and lower the cap on attorney fees in medical malpractice cases. This would help to accomplish your dream of income redistribution and help bend the cost curve. There's too many lawyers in Congress to let them have another go at it; just do it!

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