Representative Jeff Perry Fights for Tort Reform on Beacon Hill

( – promoted by Mike “DD4RP” Rossettie)

Representative Jeff Perry (R-Sandwich), a candidate for Congress, took up the fight today to contain healthcare costs through his tort reform amendment to House Bill 4915, An Act Related to Health Care Cost Containment. In an effort to make real reform to health care costs, Perry introduced an amendment (#13) to force a debate on this important health care issue.

“Government has also failed to reform the opportunity to purchase health insurance across state lines, reduce administrative burdens on health care providers, and has made no attempt to reform our medical and tort liability system,” Perry said. “The purpose of my proposal today was to force legislators to take on the primary reason why health care costs are so high: tort liability and defensive medicine.”

According to a 2007 Massachusetts Medical Society study, 48 percent of physicians in the state “have altered or limited their services because of liability concerns.” The amendment filed by Perry protects physicians and nurses administering immunizations or other protective programs under public health programs from liability in civil suits. The amendment also provides the requirement that any expert witness in a medical malpractice case must be in the same specialty as the defendant, providing a standard level of integrity in malpractice cases. Perry’s amendment also limited non-economic damage awards at $250,000.

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, 40 percent of medical malpractice suits filed in the U.S. are “without merit.” The threat of these lawsuits requires doctors to purchase malpractice insurance at greatly inflated expense. Massachusetts Medical Society found that 83 percent of its doctors practice this sort of defensive medicine. The costs of litigation and defensive medicine are passed on to the patient in the price of health care.

“The amendment aimed to lower the costs that are passed on to patients. If passed, the amendment would have provided real tort reform and real changes in rising healthcare costs for the state of Massachusetts. Sadly, the majority of legislators stuck with the status quo and did not support this real chance to address our rising health care costs,” said Perry, after the House voted 24 – 128 against the bill. The entire Republican Caucus voted in favor of Perry’s proposal, along with nine Democrats.

About jeffperry

  • Not sure if the Rep. wants to boast about this one.  One of his rivals (O’Leary) is known in the State House as the biggest proponent of tort reform and medical malpractice reform.  It has been O’Leary’s issue for years… several big op/eds for it along with a comprehensive bill on it.

  • One reason why health care coverage is so high is because the law allowing patients to sue doctors is broken. Tort reform is a real fix that will help lower costs so that those who do not get health insurance through their employment can afford a health care plan. Jeff Perry’s common sense ideas will help to make progress in the health care system without overly involving government and socialized care.  

  • Tort reform is the right thing to do, no matter who might support it.  It is not about the party, it is about doing what is right for the people.  Jeff Perry does not make his decisions based on politics, they are based on the Constitution.

  • solution to a problem that is bankrupting our state. And, once again, the lopsided legislature plays politics rather than work together for the good of the commonwealth.

    The MA healthcare bill is a fiscal disaster, proving that Jeff Perry was a wise man when he made the decision to NOT vote for it five years ago!

    Massachusetts will expect the federal government to continue to come to the rescue.  But…what will happen once the federal government begins their own grand healthcare plan???  Who is going to be available then to 1) bail out Massachusetts and 2) bail out the United States of America?

    Jeff Perry KNOWS how to tackle these hard issues and given the opportunity to represent us in Congress, I am confident he will bring that knowledge to Washington and work with other like-minded members of Congress to enact REAL HEALTH CARE REFORM.  

  • Good job Jeff for proposing this amendment and for getting nine D’s to vote with you.  

  • We need to fix heath care and mandatory health insurance IS NOT the answer.  Tort reform is just one of the necessary steps.  Yeah, Jeff Perry for attempting to make our state legislature see it!  We need more of his kind on Beacon Hill and Capitol Hill.

  • It baffles me that the Legislature has before them a proposal to save the Commonwealth money in premiums, reduce frivolous medical malpractice suits and help lower the cost of health care to everyone in the State and they vote it down!

    What are they thinking?  I look forward to seeing all who voted against this tort reform Amendment to be booted out of office this November!

    Thank you Rep. Perry for using common sense and coming up with solutions to reduce costs across the board.   Your colleagues may not like the idea, but the taxpayers and health care professional do, and they will tell you so in the September Primary and again in November.

  • Jeff, someone needs to stand up and recognize that real healthcare reform must include tort reform. You have made healthcare reform without socialized care a major point of your campaign and I, as a voter in the 10th district, thank you for that.