Tort Reform leads to worse health care

We’ve all heard the argument made by the insurance companies and nursing home industry: so-called tort “reform” will lead to better healthcare for everyone. This is the line that the insurance and medical industries have been pushing in states all across the country.  The truth is that patients in states with arbitrary restrictions on their access to the legal accountability system are more likely to have worse overall healthcare.

Using the non-profit Commonwealth Fund’s independent ranking of state health system performance, access, and quality, Texas Watch compared states that restrict patient access to the courthouse with those that do not. In every category, it is clear that patients in states that restrict patients’ legal rights fare worse than those in states that allow patients to hold wrongdoers accountable.

Here are the key findings:

69% of states with poorest overall health system performance (bottom quartile) limit patient access to the courts
79% of states with the worst access to healthcare limit patient access to the courts
84% of states with the poorest quality of care limit patient access to the courts