From an NPR interview yesterday:Â Â http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=111093630
SIEGEL: You mentioned malpractice costs. Malpractice caps is a subject that we've been hearing about. Marcella Hernandez(ph) of Galena, Ohio, wants to know if monetary limits on lawsuits would be essential to reducing health care costs.
ROVNER: I get this question every time I take questions from an audience, and I have for the last 20 years.
(Soundbite of laughter)
A lot of people wish it was so, a lot of doctors wish it were so. Malpractice is about one percent of health care spending, even if you add defensive medicine that doctors do to prevent lawsuits. It's a tiny, tiny fraction. You could solve the entire malpractice problem; you would still have a big problem with health care costs.
It's important to some doctors in some specialties, but it's really not what's driving health care costs. It's a lot of new technology and a lot of demanding patients.