Success Of Tort Reform Does Not Include A Reduction In Malpractice!

July 5, 2010

Go figure. The proponents of Tort Reform must think that the average American Citizen is a complete idiot. To show the success of Tort Reform in Texas, they come up with the following:

Successes in the medical community:

* The American Medical Association dropped Texas from its list of states in medical liability crisis (Houston Chronicle, 5/17/05).
* Malpractice claims are down and physician recruitment and retention are up, particularly in high risk specialties (Houston Chronicle, 5/17/05).
* The five largest Texas insurers cut rates, which will save doctors about $50 million, according to the AMA (Houston Chronicle, 5/17/05).
* Malpractice lawsuits in Harris County have dropped to about half of what they were in 2001 and 2002. There were 204 cases filed in 2004, compared with 441 in 2001 and 550 in 2002. There were 1,154 lawsuits filed in 2003, attributed to attorneys trying to file before the new law took effect (Houston Chronicle, 5/17/05).
* Harris County has seen a net gain of 689 physicians, an 8.4 percent increase, according to the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners (Houston Chronicle, 5/17/05).
* Texas Medical Liability Trust, the state’s largest liability carrier, reduced its premiums by 17 percent (Houston Chronicle, 5/17/05).
* Fifteen new insurance companies have entered the Texas market (Associated Press, 2/16/05).
* Health Care Indemnity, the state’s largest carrier for hospitals, cut rates by 15 percent in 2004 (Associated Press, 2/16/05).
* American Physicians Insurance Exchange and The Doctor’s Company also reduced premiums (Associated Press, 2/16/05).
* The American Physicians Insurance Exchange saw a $3.5 million reduction in premiums for Texas physicians in 2005. In addition, beginning May 1, 2005, 2,2000 of the 3,500 physicians insured by the company would see an average drop of 5 percent in their premiums (The Heartland Institute, 5/1/05).
See here.

So, all this is very good but, where are the statistics showing reduction in medical malpractice and/or negligence committed by doctors and/or reduction in injuries and death directly caused by a doctor’s negligence? There is nothing about that!!!

So, let’s parse this down. If you limit access to the courthouse by people who have been injured as the result of someone’s negligence, then there will be less lawsuits filed. Duhhhh!! No kidding. As I have said before, perhaps we can fight wrongful death lawsuits caused by drunk drivers by giving drunk drivers immunity! That is exactly how Tort Reform works: it gives the negligent doctors a pass and in fact immunity against the result of their negligence… Does that make sense? Of course not.

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