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tort reform

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 6 months ago

Strong Proponent Of Tort Reform:

 

Club For Growth: "From his 1994 Senate race, to his gubernatorial campaign in 2002, and throughout his four years as governor, Romney was a strong proponent of tort reform. ... On the campaign trail, Romney has taken his impressive record to the national level, insisting on badly needed nationwide tort reform." (The Club For Growth, "Mitt Romney's Record On Economic Issues," Press Release, 8/21/07)

 

Tort Reform

 

The American economy suffers from excessive litigation which increases the cost of doing business and slows economic growth. The Club for Growth supports major reforms to our tort system to restore a more just and less costly balance in tort litigation.

 

From his 1994 Senate race,69 to his gubernatorial campaign in 2002, and throughout his four years as governor, Romney was a strong proponent of tort reform. As governor, he supported capping personal injury claims in automobile-related cases70 and advocated for overhauling Massachusetts' exorbitant medical malpractice system. Massachusetts is notorious for having some of the highest malpractice insurance rates in the country, driving doctors in key specialties out of the state.71

 

During his gubernatorial campaign, Mitt Romney supported capping punitive damages to replace the unlimited status quo.72 In 2003, Romney also supported a bill to cap noneconomic awards at $500,000, arguing at a rally organized by the Massachusetts Medical Society, "If we have in place policies which drive physicians away, which drive costs spiraling out of control, we can't attract jobs, we can't have a better future for our kids and the families that want to live here. We need reform now."73 In May of 2006, the Romney administration issued a specific tort reform proposal, calling for:

 

  • Closing loopholes in the $500,000 cap on non-economic damages which allowed lawyers to win excessive damages
  • Reducing lawsuits by allowing doctors to disclose medical errors without fear of admissibility in court
  • Increasing the number of claims resolved prior to trial
  • Tightening the state's tribunal system to ensure that only meritorious malpractice lawsuits go to trial
  • Reduces lawyers' fees from 25% for verdicts over $500,000 to 15% for verdicts over $600,000
  • Reducing pre-judgment interest to the one-year Treasury rate74

 

On the campaign trail, Romney has taken his impressive record to the national level, insisting on badly needed nationwide tort reform.75

 

 

 

Summation

 

As Massachusetts Governor, Mitt Romney's record on economic issues was generally good. He demonstrated a willingness to take on his Legislature and deserves credit for the many pro-growth measures he advocated and the modest reforms he was able to achieve. While his record on taxes, spending and entitlement reform is flawed, it is, on balance, encouraging, especially given the liberal Massachusetts Legislature. His record on trade, school choice, regulations, and tort reform all indicate a strong respect for the power of market solutions.

 

At the same time, Governor Romney's history is marked by statements at odds with his gubernatorial record and his campaign rhetoric. His strident opposition to the flat tax; his refusal to endorse the Bush tax cuts in 2003; his support for various minor tax hikes; and his once-radically bad views on campaign finance reform all cast some doubts on the extent and durability of his commitment to limited-government, pro-growth policies. His landmark steps in the health care arena also exhibit a mixture of desirable pro-free market efforts combined with a regrettable willingness to accept, if not embrace, a massive new regulatory regime. Nevertheless, given his outstanding private sector entrepreneurial experience; the strong pro-growth positions he has taken on the campaign trail; his overall record as governor; and the fact that the U.S. Congress will not be as liberal as the Massachusetts Legislature, we are reasonably optimistic that, as President, Mitt Romney would generally advocate a pro-growth agenda.

 

Footnotes

 

1Massachusetts Executive Office of Administration and Finance, internal documents

2Boston Herald, 01/30/03

3Knight Ridder Tribune Business News, 01/29/04

4Knight Ridder Tribune Business News, 02/27/03

5Knight Ridder Tribune Business News, 01/29/04

6Boston Globe, 03/26/05

7Boston Globe, 05/20/04

8The Providence Journal, 05/18/05

9Boston Globe, 07/01/06

10Knight Ridder Tribune Business News, 12/02/05 & Associated Press, 12,05/05

11Press Release, Mitt Romney, 11/20/05

12Press Release, Mitt Romney, 07/22/05

13Boston Herald, 10/27/02

14Boston Globe, 04/11/03

15Boston Herald, 02/08/07

16Hotline On Call, 04/28/07

17Des Moines Register, 04/05/07

18Bureau of Labor Statistics & U.S. Census Bureau

19Boston Globe, 01/30/03

20Telegram & Gazette, 02/27/03

21Telegram & Gazette, 01/14/06

22Executive Office of Administration and Finance

23Telegram & Gazette, 08/03/03

24Telegram & Gazette, 08/03/03

25Associated Press, 01/28/03

26Boston Globe, 11/23/06

27CRN.com, 11/16/05, Source

28Associated Press, 11/16/05

29Boston Globe, 07/09/05

30The Patriot Ledger, 07/05/03

31Boston Globe, 06/20/03

32Boston Globe, 03/09/03

33Mitt Romney, Club for Growth Winter Conference, 03/29/07 & St. Petersburg Times, 08/07/07

34The Daily Free Press, 04/13/06, Source

35International Herald Tribune, 04/06/06

36Heritage Foundation, Backgrounder, No. 1953, 07/18/06

37Heritage Foundation, Backgrounder, No. 1953, 07/18/06

38Heritage Foundation, Backgrounder, No. 1953, 07/18/06 & Boston Globe, 11/13/05

39Heritage Foundation, WebMemo, No. 1414, 04/04/07

40Heritage Foundation, WebMemo No. 1045, 04/20/06

41Business Insurance, 05/08/06, Vol. 40, Iss. 19

42Heritage Foundation, Backgrounder, No. 1953, 07/18/06 & Boston Globe, 11/10/05

43Health Affairs, "The Third Wave of Massachusetts Health Care Access Reform," 09/14/06 & Cato Policy Analysis No. 595, 06/28/07

44Boston Globe, 12/13/05

45Mitt Romney, Club for Growth Winter Conference, 03/29/07

46Telegram & Gazette, 08/01/06

47Boston Globe, 02/26/03

48The Sun, 06/02/05

49Telegram & Gazette, 02/27/03

50Boston Herald, 01/31/03

51Telegram & Gazette, 09/05/04

52Knight Ridder Tribune Business News, 02/27/03

53The Berkshire Eagle, 08/04/06

54Boston Globe, 09/12/03

55Press Release, Mitt Romney, 11/21/05 & Telegram & Gazette, 11/22/05

56The Patriot Ledger, 11/02/02

57Press Release, Mitt Romney, 06/18/04 & The Patriot Ledger, 06/11/04

58US Fed News Service, 03/18/05

59Telegram & Gazette, 01/24/04

60Boston Globe, 06/26/04 & Boston Globe, 07/21/04

61Boston Globe, 10/12/94

62Fox News Channel, Republican presidential debate, 05/15/07

63C-SPAN2, 10/17/94, Source

64The Patriot Ledger, 10/15/02 & Telegram & Gazette, 06/30/03

65Telegram & Gazette, 06/30/03

66Press Release, Romney for President, 03/02/07

67The Hill, 02/08/07

68Press Release, Romney for President, 03/02/07

69Boston Globe, 07/01/94

70The Sun, 06/02/05

71Boston Globe, 11/13/03

72Boston Globe, 10/02/02

73Boston Globe, 04/09/03

74Press Release, Mitt Romney, 05/23/06

75Mitt Romney, Detroit Economic Club, 02/07/07

 

Posted by Andrew Roth on August 21, 2007 9:13 AM

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