The Hill “Healthwatch” blog reported, “The website PolitiFact.com on Friday threw some cold water on Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s (R) claims about tort reform in his state — claims tort-reform supporters often tout as a model for other states.” While campaigning, the governor has said that “Texas gained 21,000 new doctors because of malpractice reforms in his state.” However, PolitiFact “found that in the years since Texas’s tort reform law passed, the number of doctors in the state has risen only slightly more than the overall population.” Therefore, the site called the claim “false.”
Marilyn Werber Serafini also cited the PolitiFact analysis in NPR‘s “Health” blog, noting that “Texas has only about 13,000 more doctors in the state and the historic trends suggest that population growth was the driving factor.” PolitiFact’s Jon Greenberg also noted other aspects of “PerryCare,” including that “‘Rick Perry believes the best way for the federal government to improve health care is to stimulate job creation so more Americans are covered by employer-sponsored health plans,’ according to his campaign website.”
Additionally, the Daily Kos highlighted a number of reports debunking Perry’s tort reform claims. A July article from the Austin American-Statesman reported that “almost half of the state’s job growth in the past two years came in the education, health care and government sectors.” More recently, an August Washington Post article noted Perry’s job growth claims but said “he is less forthcoming about the 26% of Texas residents who lack health insurance – ranking 50th among the states – compared with a national average of 17%.” And a Public Citizen report said Perry’s 2003 tort reforms haven’t tamed health costs but “Texas Medicare reimbursements have actually been rising faster than the rest of the country.”
From the American Association for Justice news release.