So much for tort reform

**** NOT SO: see update below ****

Kerry hits Bush on the vaccine shortage.

Bush’s spokesman responds with a falsehood:

Bush campaign spokesman Steve Schmidt called Kerry’s criticism “baseless and hypocritical. So few companies make flu vaccines because of a broken medical liability system that Kerry falsely claims to want to fix but has voted 10 times against reforming.”

But flu vaccines are already covered by the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, incorporating the damage caps and other “tort reform” measures that are supposed to be a panacea for the U.S. health care system.

Update: Wrong. VICP covers childhood vaccinations. It does not cover flu shots. Litigation wasn’t the reason for the shortage, so Schmidt’s comment is still nonsense, but “tort reform” had not been applied. Apologies. More here.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

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