Thursday, December 25, 2003

Business Week disputes Malpractice "Plague"

Do caps on awards really keep doctors' insurance premiums down? Both sides in the debate--doctors and insurers fighting for caps, and trial lawyers and patients fighting against them--are waging a war-by-anecdote. But clear away the dubious studies, the exaggerated line charts, the hysterical press releases, and look at the numbers, and the statistical case for caps is flimsy. Here a Business Week article exposes the following myths as untrue:
MYTH 1: Premiums have risen more slowly in states with caps on pain-and-suffering awards.
MYTH 2: Runaway jury awards are forcing insurers to raise rates.
MYTH 3: The number of mega-awards is growing.
MYTH 4: Courts are clogged with an exploding number of claims.
Their conclusion? "On this and many other key points, proponents of caps simply aren't coming up with the facts to make their case. Instead, they're relying on scare stories--always a bad starting point for making serious policy decisions."

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