This mission – should you choose to accept it – is clear. It is being executed by others with discipline throughout the country. If properly implemented, it will fill the RSS feeds of every medical malpractice lawyer in this country with editorials from New York to Timbuktu (not the goal but a fun byproduct).
Write as many editorials as possible claiming there is a medical malpractice problem. Gloss over that the data increasingly shows that there is little evidence that we have anything resembling a malpractice crisis. Make sure you mention – directly or indirectly – that medical malpractice lawyers are getting rich in a lottery. By all means, use the word “lottery” at least once.
Because the evidence is so weak that medical malpractice lawsuits are a large strain on the economy, argue something more difficult to measure: defensive medicine. Assume that all defensive medicine is to be bundled together and left at the steps of medical malpractice.
So pretend that the only reason doctors order unnecessary tests is to save their own skin, as opposed to the fact that they genuinely care about their patients and want to go the last mile to make sure. Perpetuate the lie that ironically makes doctors look awful – that doctors order tests that are not only unnecessary but that also subject patients to unnecessary risks that cause them harm.
Please gloss over the fact that this practice would actually increase that number of malpractice lawsuits because more patients would bring lawsuits from injuries as a result of unnecessary tests. It is too complicated of an idea: people will turn their brains off after unnecessary tests. Our focus groups designed to manipulate the opinions of the American people have told us that.