posted on Jun, 2 2005 @ 09:39 AM
It's been obvious to anyone willing to look at the factors on the ground, but the Bush administration's incessant hunt on trial lawyers who hold
negligent doctors & pharma companies to pay for their mistakes, has always been done under the false guise that "Outrageous awards are driving
good doctors out of the business of caring for people"
because the malpractice insurance is out of control.
It's true, the premiums are high. But it's not because of a cause & effect on some bad doctor doing another money making elective/unnecessary
surgery that leaves someone's baby dead or maimed, and premiums go up.....it's because the Insurance Companies are covering their nut.
Rising doctors' premiums not due to lawsuit awards
Study suggests insurers raise rates to make up for investment declines
Re-igniting the medical malpractice overhaul debate, a new study by Dartmouth College researchers suggests that huge jury awards and financial
settlements for injured patients have not caused the explosive increase in doctors' insurance premiums.
The researchers said a more likely explanation for the escalation is that malpractice insurance companies have raised doctors' premiums to
compensate for falling investment returns.
The Dartmouth economists studied actual payments made to patients between 1991 and 2003, the results of which were published yesterday in the journal
Health Affairs. Some previous studies have examined jury awards, which often are reduced after trial to comply with doctors' insurance coverage
maximums or because the plaintiff settles for less money to avoid an appeal. Researchers found that payments grew an average of 4 percent annually
during the years covered by the study, or 52 percent overall since 1991, but only 1.6 percent a year since 2000. The increases are roughly equivalent
to the overall rise in healthcare costs, said Amitabh Chandra, lead author and an assistant professor of economics at the New Hampshire college.
''One of the things we know about medical malpractice payments is that they're usually made when an injury occurred," he said. ''The injury has
to be treated. And if it's more and more expensive to treat injuries, then that will be reflected in payments."
Meanwhile, malpractice insurance premiums for internists, general surgeons, and obstetricians have skyrocketed since 2000, jumping 20 to 25 percent in
2002 alone. In Massachusetts, ProMutual Group, which covers about one-third of the state's doctors, raised rates an average of 11 percent last year,
20 percent in 2003, and 12.5 percent in 2002. Some specialists, such as obstetricians, now pay almost $100,000 annually for their malpractice
insurance. ProMutual executives said they will not raise premiums this July, primarily because increases in the number of claims have slowed.
''It's not payments that's causing this," Chandra said. ''The simple explanation that comes to mind is the underwriting cycle. If they're
making less money from the investment side of things, it's going to cause [insurance companies] to raise rates."
Let's track this for schlitz & giggles, shall we? Here are the actions:
1. Denial & hatchet job on the methodology from the White house
2. From the complicit MSM, trotting out talking heads from the Heritage Foundation or some other (no)Think Tank
3. The MSM let's it die uncovered and Bush will make yet more campaign stops , on OUR dime & time, whuppin' up the fear of Jayzzzuusss over trial
Personally, I think it will be all of the above.
Of course, it's just not for malpractice insurance.....think this does not apply to your own health premiums? Think again.
[edit on 2-6-2005 by Bout Time]