The Texas study, along with others done
in past years of other states, undermines one of the central
assertions of those pursuing misdirected efforts to cap damages for
patients as a way of bringing down doctors' insurance rates.
Payments, total costs and jury verdicts have all remained stable and
have not driven recent premium increases. The causes and solutions
to that problem lie with a largely unregulated insurance industry.
We hope that state legislatures and
Congress will be inspired by this latest study -- as well as the
recent actions by Washington State's insurance commissioner -- to
refund excessive premiums to doctors and to explore real reforms
that will end the unfair price-gouging of doctors. Lawmakers must
stop blaming juries, lawyers and injured patients for a problem that
is clearly not their fault -- the price-gouging of doctors by
insurers around the country.
1"Stability, Not Crisis:
Medical Malpractice Claim Outcomes in Texas, 1988-2000," released by
The Center on Lawyers, Civil Justice, and the Media at the
University of Texas School of Law, studied data from the Texas
Department of Insurance from 1988-2002. Released March 10, 2005.
for Justice & Democracy news release]