New Studies Show that Damage “Caps” in Health Care are Harmful
Chris Welsh, Esq.
Advocates of tort reform like to celebrate caps on damages. They claim it protects access to health care by increasing physician numbers and keeping costs down. Three new studies show that that is not the case.
First, a study examined five states with “caps” and compared to control states. It found that caps actually lead to an increase in preventable events of patient injury and that the decline in quality care applied to both events that would lead to malpractice suits (a foreign object left in the body) and those that would not (bacterial infection).
Another study, examined nine states that enacted caps. It found that there is no evidence that limiting medical malpractice lawsuits “will bend the healthcare cost curve, except perhaps in the wrong direction.” According to its findings, caps actually increased physician spending 4-5%.
Finally, supporters of tort reform like to scare people with the lie that the pressure of unfair medical malpractice liability will make their doctors abandon them for states that have enacted caps on damages. This is a big lie. “No association” has been found between physician supply and tort reform.
Not one, but three studies have proven wrong the false platform of tort reform. Limiting medical malpractice liability erases incentive to provide quality care, actually increases healthcare costs, and doesn’t fulfill its promise of more physicians. At the end of the day, tort reform hurts the health care system and American families.
All information cited from centerjd. org.