If pain and suffering don’t matter…

…we could reduce medical costs by 2.4%. That’s the finding of a new Harvard study as reported in today’s Tribune.

The analysis included payments made to plaintiffs, administrative costs such as attorney fees and the costs of doctors’ lost work time. It also included the costs of “defensive medicine,” in which doctors perform or order extra tests and procedures to protect themselves legally.

I don’t know about you, but my medical insurance costs go up by more than 2.4% every year.  I am happy to pay an extra 2.4% to give medical staff some incentive not to screw up, and so that if they do screw up I have some possibility of receiving compensation.

Those who really want to cut the cost of medical care will look at monopoly interests such as licensing and patents, and the way that government subsidies increase costs.  They’ll find many multiples of a 2.4% savings.