According to the Austin American Statesman, a report, titled “A Failed Experiment,” by Public Citizen “says the 2003 Texas law that limited damage awards in malpractice suits has caused health care spending to rise and has not significantly increased the number of doctors in Texas.” While “Gov. Rick Perry has touted the benefits of the law,” the report found “that, contrary to Perry’s claims, the per capita increase in the number of doctors practicing in the state has been much slower since the state passed the so-called tort reform law than it was before the law.” The report concludes “that using Texas as a model would benefit doctors and insurers – not residents.”
The Fort Worth Star Telegram writes that the “report shows that healthcare costs and insurance premiums have continued to rise in Texas even more than the national average since the state’s tort reform legislation, and that the number of uninsured Texans has continued to climb.” Still the report did find “that medical malpractice insurance premiums as well as payments have plummeted.” The “Healthwatch” blog of The Hill also covers this story.
In continuing coverage, Fierce Healthcare reports, “Despite popular belief, placing medical liability caps on states may not curb healthcare costs, according to yesterday’s report by advocacy group Public Citizen.” The report calls the caps “‘a failed experiment,” and noted that in 2003, Texas established “a $250,000 cap on the amount of damages that injured patients could recover from negligent doctors.” However, “since the state implemented tort reform, Texas hasn’t contained spending as intended, but instead saw increases in Medicare spending.” Taylor Lincoln, the report author, said, “Health care in Texas has become more expensive and less accessible since the state’s malpractice caps took effect.”
From the American Association for Justice news release.