republican meme discredited: Tort reform has not reduced health care costs in Texas

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by Free Thinker, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. New study: Tort reform has not reduced health care costs in Texas
    A new study found no evidence that health care costs in Texas dipped after a 2003 constitutional amendment limited payouts in medical malpractice lawsuits, despite claims made to voters by some backers of tort reform.

    The researchers, who include University of Texas law professor Charles Silver, examined Medicare spending in Texas counties and saw no reduction in doctors' fees for seniors and disabled patients between 2002 and 2009. A 2003 voter campaign in Texas, and some congressional backers of Texas-style tort reform in every state, however, argued that capping damage awards would not onlycurb malpractice lawsuits and insurance costs for doctors, it would lower costs for patients while boosting their access to physicians.
    Tort reform is a controversial topic likely to be resurrected by Republicans and doctors' groups who hoped to make it part of the 2010 federal health care law.

    The researchers' findings come after a report last fall in which the Ralph Nader-founded consumer group Public Citizen said it found Medicare spending in Texas rose much faster than the national average after tort reform. Critics of that study said that tort reform leaders never promised health care spending would decline and noted that caps on damage awards brought steep drops in malpractice insurance rates for doctors and large increases in new doctors coming to Texas.

    Medicare spending up

    The researchers assumed that doctors who faced a higher risk of being sued — those in counties that had larger numbers of malpractice cases — would perform more tests and procedures than necessary to protect themselves from lawsuits. With tort reform, which limited damage awards against doctors, the need to practice such "defensive medicine" would decline, the argument goes.

    But in comparing Texas counties in which doctors faced a higher risk of lawsuits with counties where the risk was lower, the researchers found no difference in Medicare spending after tort reform and indications that doctors in higher-
risk counties did slightly more procedures.

    "If tort reform reduces spending, it would have the biggest effect on high-risk counties," Silver said. He noted that those tend to be large and urban.

    "This is not a result we expected," said Bernard Black, a co-author and a professor at Northwestern University's Law School and Kellogg School of Management.
  2. Arnie


    What a bunch of horseshit

    A medical study about tort reform led by a law professor??

    Hmmm, now I wonder if there is any bias there??

    Only compare 2002 to 2009

    Limit the study to patients covered by Medicare and Medicaid, which have govt mandated formulae or payment.

    Confine the study only to tests, assuming Drs would order fewer tests after Tort reform.

    Why not include all patients and all spending?

    Vehn, just about every story you post has so many holes in it, it's not worth rebuting. This is a perfect example.

    Any student in statistics could rip this apart.