Texas-style lawsuit reforms may not fix health care, in and of themselves, but they sure will improve patients’ access to care. As a physician who relocated from Newport to Austin, I can attest to the dramatic Texas turnaround.
Tort reform works in Texas. News reports that have flooded the media since the national health care debate began have, for the most part, accurately reported the positive impact of medical liability reforms passed here in 2003. What has not been reported is the relentless and ongoing trial-lawyer attack against tort reform in Texas and nationwide.
Unscrupulous ambulance chasing tactics by personal injury lawyers are on the rise in Texas, says a state legal watchdog group. According to a press release from Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse, some parts of the state in particular are facing a resurgence in the illegal practice of barratry, commonly known as "ambulance chasing."
The trial lawyers lobby has been awash in debt and bleeding members - just as it embarks on a national campaign to block any clampdown on medical malpractice lawsuits as part of President Obama's health care overhaul.
In his address last week, President Obama said he had talked to some doctors and learned that medical procedures were being done that may not be necessary due to fear of medical malpractice lawsuits, and he entertained the idea of tort reform, saying we could try it in some states with pilot projects.
On Wednesday the president told Congress "I will not stand by while the special interests use the same old tactics to keep things exactly the way they are." In fact, the administration is standing by to allow its most special, special interest to drive this debate. What the tort bar wants, the tort bar gets. Health insurers should be so lucky.
A Houston personal injury lawyer sat in court as the defendant Monday, accused of paying $3 million in cash, BMWs, trips, even spa treatments and “gentleman's entertainment“ to secure a $34 million settlement for hundreds of clients with silicosis.