If you think tort reform means health care cost savings, think again. Here is a page out of the book of tort “deform” and it’s from Texas. You will find this interesting.
Apparently the doctors and their medical association thought tort reform in Texas would be a dandy, health care cost saving, idea. So, in its infinite insanity, the Texas state legislature passed legislative medical malpractice caps into law in 2003. The damage cap was set at $250,000. Between 2003 and 2006 alone Medicare spending in Texas has jumped 24%. One can only imagine how much higher that figure is for 2007-2010.
These figures are astonishing; aren’t they the exact opposite of what the politicians argued would happen? One Republican representative, Michael Burgess (no surprise, here; I wonder where his campaign contributions come from?), still insists that capa on pain and suffering will reduce national medical spending. Wrong, Mr. Burgess; just look to the University of Alabama for proof.
The usual premise is that high medical malpractice insurance premiums cause doctors to significantly increase health care costs to patients. Doctors argue that if medical malpractice premiums were cut back, the patient would pay less for their health care. But the Alabama researchers have debunked that premise. They published their proof in Health Sciences Review; stating:
“Tort reforms have not led to health care cost savings for consumers.”
By the way, the researchers examined 27 states, so they have a good idea of what they’re talking about. In Texas, insurance premiums for doctors declined, but consumer health care insurance premiums increased an astounding 86.8% from 2000 to 2007. The average Texas family now spends about $12,403 a year on health care as opposed to what they used to spend, roughly $6,638 a year.
Lawsuit Financial, the pro-justice lawsuit funding company says that health care savings resulting from tort reform is a five letter word: F-A-R-C-E! While doctors may be pay lower medical malpractice premiums, their patients are being gouged; they receive less treatment and are denied proper justice in medical negligence cases. Less accountability translates into poorer care. Tort reform "savings" is a myth; the only ones "saving" are doctors, who are making more money and no longer accountable for their medical errors, and insurance companies who are laughing, all the way to the bank.
Attorney, certified civil mediator, and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Betrayal Series—Mark Bello is also the CEO of Lawsuit Financial and the country’s leading expert in providing non-recourse lawsuit funding to plaintiffs involved in pending litigation. He is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a sustaining member of the Michigan Association for Justice, and a member of the American Association for Justice.