Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Health care alternatives

Here I go again ... but this article is so interesting I couldn't leave it out. Journalist William Tate describes how Texas got medical costs down while significantly increasing the number of doctors and health care available to poorer segments of society.

-- It capped the non-economic damages from medical liability suits at $25,000 per defendant, or up to $750,000 per incident (actual costs are not capped).

-- It also stopped baseless but expensive lawsuits by requiring plaintiffs to provide expert-witness reports to support their claims within four months of filing.

-- The results: insurance rates down 27%, number of doctors applying to practice up 57%. The number of obstetricians practicing in rural Texas up 27%, etc.

Admittedly, this one step wouldn't fix everything; for example, we still need health insurance portability. But it sure would help.

Remember how Obama was booed when he refused to consider tort reform? Tate cites $178 million in lawyers' campaign donations to the Democrats in the 2008 election cycle, of which $43 million went to the Obama campaign. You do the math!

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