You are absolutely correct about tort reform. Trial lawyers are one of the most powerful lobbies around. And we have to remember that lawyers are the single largest group of legislators at all levels of Government; Federal, State and local. So lawyers get kid glove treatment in law.
But I have to disagree about pharmaceutical companies. Two things drive the cost of medicines.
1) Ridiculous regulation that makes the development and approval of drugs extremely costly and time consuming. By the time a new, effective drug is approved for use in this country, a major portion of the patent life is already over. All those costs have to be recovered rather quickly. And profits are needed to research and process new drugs
2) The US, in effect, subsidizes, medicines for the rest of the world. Every country with socialized medicine controls the price that can be charged for a medicine by a company. The controlled price is not enough to provide the manufacturer a full recovery of its cots plus enough profits to fund research and development and provide a profit for the owners of the pharmaceutical companies.
So the US being virtually the only free market, we Americans have had to carry the burden for all those socialist countries with out pocketbooks. So yes, we Americans pay to much for medicines because socialists refuse to pay their share.
And if one wants to argue that there are pharmaceutical companies overseas developing drugs and that proves my statement false, forgets that those foreign companies sell their drugs here as well and charge us a price large enough to recover their costs, etc..
And as we spiral into socialized medicine, we too will be putting controls on drug costs which will result in the pipeline of new drugs drying up because costs and new development money will dry up.
If we could just get the lawyers out of the legislative bodies, perhaps things would be simpler and actually make sense. Most of them are just there to make up bills so they can say "Look what I did!", then move on to the next elected office they covet.