Tort Reform Myth Debunked

Insurance companies, the Chamber of Commerce, and the American Medical Association attempt to advance tort reform (i.e immunity for their members) by making up frivolous cases and trying to convince juries that doctors are fleeing states without caps on damages for victims of negligence and abuse.

However, new information based on the AMA’s own data on the number of physicians practicing in the states proves that these disingenous Chicken Littles are flat wrong.  Some key findings include:

1)  The number of doctors is increasing across the country. There were 921,904 physicians in the U.S. in 2006, nearly 20,000 more than in 2005.  Despite the alleged “physician flight” crisis, the number of physicians rose in every state except Louisiana, which had a total decrease of seven doctors (mostly related to the economic devastation of Hurricane Katrina).

2)  The numbe rof doctors is increasing faster than the population growth. There were 303 physicians per 100,000 people in 2006, an all-time high nationwide.

3)  The numbe rof physicians per 100,000 resdients is much higher in states without caps on damages (311 vs. 280).  Since 2000, the physician-to-population ratio in states without caps has increased twice as much as in states with caps.

Do not be fooled by the propaganda of the insurance companies and for profit health care providers.  They are interested in what is best for them and their bottom lines and not what is best for the victims of their malpratice.