There’s no question that the issue of medical malpractice is one that needs to be looked at, though the angle you are looking at it from usually depends on your politics. Republicans tend to favor criticism of malpractice attorneys, focusing on the few large settlements that are awarded and ignoring the many more that are never rewarded at all.
Others focus on the hospital system, hospital safety procedures and things like infection control. (About half of all deadly infections originate at hospitals.)
Clearly, there is much more to the issue of medical malpractice than simply lawsuits. Even though most attempts at malpractice reform have come from the Republican side, President Obama recently released $23.2 million in funding for hospitals, universities and legal bodies that are ready to test different approaches to the issue.
Instead of focusing on ways to prevent harmed patients and families from filing lawsuits, most of the money is going towards projects that will attempt to remedy the reason malpractice lawsuits are filed in the first place. 20 recipients, in 16 different states, will dedicate time and energy over the next one-to-three years working on solutions.
These will then be presented and, if considered scalable, will likely be widely implemented, building up to mass-adoption.
In states like California, where patients are capped on what they may be awarded in a medical malpractice trial, targeting hospital payouts has done little or nothing to lower healthcare costs. The Obama administration, at least, hopes to find another solution.