Does "defensive medicine" add to the cost of health care in the United States?

Many Republicans argue that there is a huge "hidden cost" in our economy today -- the cost of so-called "defensive medicine."  When they talk about defensive medicine, they contend that doctors are ordering unneeded tests, solely in an effort to protect themselves from lawsuits.  Funny how all you ever see are "estimates" and self-reported assessments.

Defensive medicine, as they define it, is fraud, pure and simple. It probably doesn't exist and I would challenge those who assert its existence to throw some medical files on the table and "let's discuss."

Virginia malpractice attorney Ben Glass has written more about the high cost of defensive medicine here.