Thursday, December 25, 2003

Connecticut Doctors push "false crisis"

Reacting to information about an October 28 "Firestorm" memo circulated within the Connecticut Legislature, CPR (Connecticut Patients' Rights Group) Executive Director and spokesperson Jean Rexford issued the following statement:
"We have learned that Connecticut Mutual Insurance Company authored an October 28, 2003 memo that generated a firestorm of concern among Connecticut legislators responsible for addressing the current medical malpractice insurance rate increase situation. The Medical society continues to grasp at any tactic possible to advance their agenda of a $250,000.00 cap on noneconomic malpractice damages within the legislature. Finding insufficient support among legislators, it resorts to misinformation and subterfuge.
There is no "crisis" in Connecticut, other than the egregiously high premiums being charged to doctors by insurers to compensate for losses on investments in a temporarily soft stock market. The US General Accounting Office investigated five so-called "crisis" states and found no "crisis." Ralph Nader just concluded a Connecticut study in September and found no "crisis." In October the Washington Monthly echoed many other organizations and publications when it reported that the 1970s California cap touted by caps advocates resulted in companies raising premiums 300 percent and more. Not until strict insurance reform was enacted was the rate of increase slowed.
Why are the doctors siding with the very insurance companies who are gouging them in so vehemently demanding caps on damages? Because they both want the same thing -- reduced liability for wrongdoing. The "CRISIS" campaign in Connecticut did not originate in Connecticut. It is a national fear campaign originating out of the motivations of insurance companies and other interests. This campaign seeks to make people afraid enough to give up their rights to take doctors who injure them to court.

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