Palin Pushes Tort Reform to the Forefront Again

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Sinatra, Aug 25, 2009.

  1. Sinatra
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    Sinatra Senior Member

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    Tort reform must be made an essential part of any healthcare reform - perhaps the most essential part.

    Here are some facts from Texas, which initiated tort reforms in 2003, and since that time, has seen numbers of doctors in Texas grow by nearly 60%, health insurance premiums decrease by nearly 20%, and insurance options go from four carriers, to over thirty carriers - all in just 5 years - and at NO COST to the taxpayers.

    With such success so easily available to anyone interesting in real healthcare reform, why have the Democrats and Obama been all but silent on the prospect of national tort reform? Is it because 90% of campaign contributions from the top trial firms go to Democrats? Perhaps. What is more clear is that any serious discussion of healthcare cost improvement without comprehensive tort reform is ludicrous. Congratulations to Sarah Palin and other national figures who are willing to aggresively present this indisputable fact...


    Excerpts:

    5 years of tort reform: Lone Star success story

    Since Texas voters approved a liability cap, specialists have been setting up practices in the state, boosting access to care.

    Editorial. Sept. 15, 2008


    The doomsday scenario for Texas was bleak: It was increasingly clear that without tort reforms, physicians would not be able to afford medical liability premiums, specialists would shun the state and many patients would struggle to find care.

    Lone Star voters took notice and, in 2003, applied their good judgment to the problem. They approved a state constitutional amendment limiting noneconomic damages in medical liability cases to $250,000 for physicians. Five years later, the cap is being credited for slashing liability insurance premiums, boosting the ranks of doctors in the state, and improving medical access to patients.

    Texas physicians have witnessed a 25% overall drop in liability rates since 2003, the state insurance department says. For the first time, the state's largest medical liability carrier, Texas Medical Liability Trust, saw a 50% reduction in lawsuit filings, this from 2003 to 2008. Texas went from four insurers to more than 30 during that period.

    According to the Texas Medical Board, medical license applications have soared from 2,561 to 4,041 -- a 58% jump. At the same time, the number of neurosurgeons has climbed 12%, while the supply of orthopedic surgeons has risen 9%

    The results seen in Texas, with lowered liability insurance premiums, are repeated in experiences from other states that have enacted caps of varying degrees. In February, the AMA released an analysis of independent research that showed caps on noneconomic damages are effective and have lowered premiums at least 17%, with some specialties seeing even greater drops...


    AMNews: Editorial - Sept. 15, 2008. 5 years of tort reform: Lone Star success story ... American Medical News
     

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