Obama’s Next Step on Medical Malpractice

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said this morning that she would submit President Obama’s “parameters” for medical malpractice reform.

I think this is all probably much ado about nothing. I overreacted to all of this in 2009 and I’m not going to do it again. But if you think the health care plan gets constitutional scrutiny now, wait until they add even a speck of federal legislation that conflicts with state law. It is the kind of thing that would have the Tea Party states’ rights crowd screaming from rooftops if it was anything other than medical malpractice. It is like saying, murder is wrong. Unless you kill someone that I really don’t like. In that case, I will just turn a blind eye.obama

Conservative commentator Pat Buchanan drives me nuts. But he is intellectually honest. I would like to hear some conservatives like George Will stand up and say all of this federal intrusion on state law is a bad thing. And I would like to know how the Attorney General of Virginia, who is making all this noise about the constitutionality of health care reform, feels about this kind of effort to intrude on states’ rights.

Ultimately, I think Obama is under pressure to put forth a proposal that has some teeth because he has been getting hammered for his lack of specifics. But I don’t think any proposal that he comes up with is going to be more burdensome than the restraints we already have in Maryland. But not every state has the draconian malpractice tort reform that we have and those states that don’t are going to raise very strong constitutional objections to the slightest federal interference. Boy, I would love to see how the Justice Scalias of the world are going to deal with this issue.

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