Liberal Grace

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Tort Reform = more $$ for insurance companies. Less for you.


Remember how Bush and others demanded tort reform to lower health care costs?

After all, they claim, malpractice insurance premiums were putting doctors and hospitals out of business!

How is that working out? Georgia implemented the kinds of limits Bush proposed. Has it reduced health care costs?


"Limit malpractice awards and the
insurance companies will just buy
that new Gulfstream for the CEO."


Nope. The opposite happened. Costs went up.

Promises of malpractice premium cuts fall flat as rates go up

ATLANTA - Despite promises that rising medical malpractice insurance rates would be suppressed under new state laws, many of Georgia's insurers have increased their premiums since the sweeping reforms took effect last year, according to an Associated Press analysis of state insurance records.


Georgia malpractice premium cuts haven't panned out

ATLANTA Many of Georgia's medical malpractice insurers have hiked their premiums since sweeping reforms took effect last year -- despite claims that the legislation would reduce rates for doctors.
According to an Associated Press analysis of state insurance records, six of the state's top insurers of doctors and dentists have increased their liability rates. In some cases, the rates have gone up by a third.


It's obvious what went wrong in Georgia. There were no price controls on insurance premiums and medical bills.

If the government limits malpractice awards, the insurance companies are just going to pocket the cash.

So, along with tort reform there must to be price controls to assure that the insurance executives or doctors don't just spend the money on that new jet or boat they've been wanting.

BONUS TEST:
Bush claims that malpractice insurance premiums are driving health care costs out of sight. Can you guess the percentage of total health care costs which goes to malpractice insurance?

A) 75%
B) 50%
C) 25%
D) Less than 1%

You'll find the answer below, in the second-to-the-last paragraph.
It’s a myth that suits drive up health care costs

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