Monday, November 26, 2007

Tort Reform - We really do need this.

I feel like one of this country's biggest problems is the money made on lawsuits. This kind of wealth movement for little to no real value is killing innovation and our health care systems.

Today I was thinking about how the left is looking for it's "Contract for America" and Reagan-esque ideas that would help champions it's causes and how they seem to be moving toward universal health care. I think Universal Health Care is the worst of ideas. The same people who brought you public restroom, the Post office, Medicare and Medicaid and the American/Mexican Border are now going to be in charge of your health care. On the other hand, I know a lot of people who work hard, are wonderful members of society but have no health care and desperately need it. So something truly does need to change. The primary issues that is killing access to health care for millions is the continual rise of cost of health care and health care insurance. The rise of health costs can be partly if not mostly attributed to rising health care provider insurance. Especially in pediatrics. A significant burden to insurance companies is the lawsuit factor. Not only is the number of lawsuits and the crazy pay outs that happen often driving the cost of health care and health care insurance out of reach for the lower middle class, it's also choking off important funding that companies could use to innovate and improve itself. So many potential companies fail to achieve their potential because of the risk of lawsuits.

I believe one important move to make health care available to 100% of our working members of society is to do something about Tort Reform.

Recently Texas enacted some of the toughest Tort reform rules a state has ever had.
In the following article and excerpt to follow, Texas has seen a 21.3% drop in health care insurance premiums. That has resulted in many more doctors moving to Texas and real savings for those using health care.

Four years after Texas voters approved a constitutional amendment limiting awards in medical malpractice lawsuits, doctors are responding as supporters predicted, arriving from all parts of the country to swell the ranks of specialists at Texas hospitals and bring professional health care to some long-underserved rural areas
For pain and suffering, so-called noneconomic damage, patients can sue a doctor and, in unusual cases, up to two health care institutions for no more than $250,000 each, under limits adopted by the Legislature. Plaintiffs can still recover economic losses, like the cost of continuing medical care or lost income, but the amount they can win was capped at $1.6 million in death cases.
The increase in doctors - double the rate of the population increase - has
raised the state's ranking in physicians per capita to 42nd in 2005 from 48th in 2001, according to the American Medical Association. It is most likely considerably higher now, according to the medical association, which takes two years to compile the standings. Still, the latest figures show Texas with 194 patient-care physicians per 100,000 population, far below the District of Columbia, which led the nation with 659.
Adding to the state's allure for doctors, Mr. Opelt said, was an average 21.3 percent drop in malpractice insurance premiums, not counting rebates for renewal.

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