Monday, April 19, 2004

Thank you, Governor Holden!

Governor Holden courageously vetoed the deceptive "tort reform" bill last year, and may be called upon to do it again this year. The Republican legislators support this legislation, claiming that it is necessary to protect doctors from lawyers driving up outrageous malpractice rates. The truth is, the supporters of tort reform are either stupid, uninformed, or well-paid whores of the insurance industry.

The St. Louis Post Dispatch on Saturday published some truths with should be troubling to those who have been using myths about litigiousness and doctors to gin up support for laws which will restrict people's access to the courts. Among the facts:

The Missouri Department of Insurance said Friday that medical malpractice claims filed and paid in 2003 fell to all-time lows.

The drop in payouts combined with the hefty premium increases in recent years give liability insurers a "cash-flow windfall," department director Scott Lakin said.

. . .

Last year, new claims filed against health-care providers, an indicator of the number of future settlement payouts, were at the lowest in more than 15 years, the department said. Claims filed against physicians fell 13.8 percent to 665 in 2003. The previous low was 704 in 2001.

Let me state it plainly - anybody who votes for a legislator supporting tort reform legislation is being fooled by the insurance industry.


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