As Congress debates nationwide health care reform, a new analysis by the American Association for Justice reveals malpractice insurers have long-played a cruel hoax on legislators and the public. By systematically distorting profits and losses, insurers created phony “financial crises,” so lawmakers would limit the legal rights of injured patients. Today, while premiums and health care costs skyrocket, malpractice insurers have average profits higher than 99 percent of Fortune 500 companies.
The average profit of these insurance companies is higher than 99 percent of all Fortune 500 companies and 35 times higher than the Fortune 500 average for the same time period.
In regards to this issue, AAJ President Anthony Tarricone said “Insurance companies are gouging doctors on their premiums to mislead lawmakers. And today, injured patients are often left with no avenue to pursue justice, while health care costs continue to skyrocketing,”
Medical malpractice insurers have underestimated profits and overestimated losses, creating overblown insurance “crises” to garner support for limiting patients’ legal rights. Then years later after the “crises” abated, revised filings show the companies were never in the financial peril they claimed.
“As Congress looks to overhaul our nation’s health care system, it’s clear that limiting the legal rights of patients won’t lower health care costs or cover the uninsured,” continued Tarricone. “The focus should be on eliminating medical errors that injure or kill tens of thousands of Americans every year. Insurance companies clearly don’t need another handout.”
To view the full report, visit www.justice.org/medicalnegligence. AAJ’s series of reports on medical negligence can be found on the right-hand side of the page.