Despite all the Sturm und Drang over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, its passage wasn't the reason voters decided to transform the House of Representatives from a Democratic to a Republican majority last week.
Exit polls showed that voters were evenly split on federal health care reform. Forty-seven percent said it should either be expanded or kept the way it is, while 48 percent said it should be repealed. For most voters, the big issue was the sad state of the economy.
Members of the new Congress would be smart to focus on economic recovery if they don't want to be replaced in two years. Yet if they want to also improve the health care law, there are areas where Republicans and Democrats can work together.
Start with medical errors and our broken medical malpractice system.
The current system for dealing with errors and lawsuits is slow, costly and inequitable, working neither for patients nor for doctors. But partisan battles have prevented solutions. Look around the nation (and the world) for what works to protect patient safety with fewer lawsuits – from alternative dispute resolution to health courts to damage caps. By addressing this, Congress could remove an obstacle to reform.
Lawmakers also could find other irritants that undermine support for reform.
To read the complete editorial, visit www.sacbee.com.