Policy Documents

Overview of Initiatives 330 and 336

Paul Guppy –
September 1, 2005

In this article about medical malpractice in Washington, voters will consider two ballot initiatives that deal with medical liability reform.  Guppy summarizes both initiatives and explains how they differ. It also shows that caps on non-economic damages in other states have been effective in reduction of the costs of malpractice lawsuits impose on the health care system. Comparative research a finds that caps improve access to health care by increasing the number of doctors per resident. Finally, this study recommends stronger enforcement of professional medical standards by the state and greater use of mediation to settle malpractice claims before they go to court.