by Patrick Appel

So reports Daphne Eviatar:

"It’s really just a distraction,” said Tom Baker, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and author of “The Medical Malpractice Myth.” “If you were to eliminate medical malpractice liability, even forgetting the negative consequences that would have for safety, accountability, and responsiveness, maybe we’d be talking about 1.5 percent of health care costs. So we’re not talking about real money. It’s small relative to the out-of-control cost of health care.”

Insurance costs about $50-$60 billion a year, Baker estimates. As for what’s often called “defensive medicine,” “there’s really no good study that’s been able to put a number on that,” said Baker.