Many would answer that question by saying that a significant reason for high health care costs is out of control verdicts in medical malpractice cases. But the facts demonstrate otherwise. About five years ago Texas passed an amendment to its state constitution which put significant limits on the amount individuals injured through medical negligence could recover. You would naturally think that if large malpractice claims were a significant part of rising healthcare costs, Texas would show improvement since then. In fact, healthcare costs in Texas are rising faster, not slower, than in most states. In fact, folks who have examined the causal relationship between medical malpractice awards and the cost of healthcare invariably find that fully compensating individuals who are injured as a result of negligence of healthcare providers is a minuscule component of overall healthcare costs in this country.
H/T Jonathan Feigenbaum for bringing this article to my attention. See also Roy Harmon's related post from yesterday here.