06272017Headline:

Farmington Hills, Michigan

HomeMichiganFarmington Hills

Email Mark Bello Mark Bello on LinkedIn Mark Bello on Twitter Mark Bello on Facebook Mark Bello on Avvo
Mark Bello
Mark Bello
Attorney • (877) 377-7848

No Healthcare Savings in Texas Tort Reform: The Proof is in the Study

2 comments

The results of a new, independent, study proves what I have been saying about Texas and other states for years. Tort reform does not reduce and has not reduced the cost of heath care. Tort reform does not increase the number of doctors who practice in a particular state. The lack of tort reform does not decrease the amount of doctors (especially good ones) who decide to stay in a particular state. The so-called "positive effects" of tort reform on health care and physician migration are a myth.

Independent researchers examined Medicare spending in select counties in Texas and found no reduction in physician charges between 2003, when the Texas Constitution was amended to account for tort reform, and 2009. A second study, by the same group, found that while malpractice litigation and victim compensation dropped sharply after tort reform, the claim that doctors fled the state before tort reform, and returned to the state in record numbers, afterwards, is untrue.

"This is a very highly regarded study, and this team is highly regarded", said Tom Baker, a University of Pennsylvania law professor and author of "The Medical Malpractice Myth". The study was funded by universities and the paper the study produced was published in the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, which is published by Wiley-Blackwell in collaboration with the Cornell Law School.

Contrary to the researchers' assumptions ("This is not a result we expected", said co-author Bernard Black, a Northwestern University law professor), the study also debunked the myth of so-called "defensive medicine". The myth goes that those doctors in counties that had more malpractice cases filed would order and perform more unnecessary tests and procedures to protect themselves from the risk of litigation. The assumption was that the frequency of these tests would decline after tort reform. However, in the study of Medicare spending, the researchers found that there was no appreciable increase in Medicare spending on tests and procedures after tort reform. While medical spending continues to increase nationally, the study found no evidence that medical spending in Texas went up slower than other states and may have had an increase over others. According to Professor Black, Medicare spending rose, In Texas, 1-2% faster than the other 49 states. The wool has, and continues to be, pulled over the public's eyes.

Since the Texas public was snowed by Governor Rick Perry and wealthy tort reform advocates into voting for Proposition 12 (Texas Tort Reform), thousands of citizens have been shut out of the legal system because artificially low damages caps make it economically unfeasible to pursue litigation. Making health care "more affordable and accessible" was one of the promises made by Prop 12 advocates, including Governor Perry. It was a lie then and the study proves that it is a lie now. Texas citizens continue to keep these guys in office and the injured and disabled in Texas continue to suffer for it. Sad, isn't it?

Mark M. Bello is the owner and founder of Lawsuit Financial Corporation where he is instrumental in providing cash flow solutions and consulting when necessity of life lawsuit funding is needed during litigation. Mr. Bello has thirty-four years experience as a trial lawyer and 13 years as an underwriter and situational analyst in the litigation funding industry. He is recognized as an expert in this field by ExpertPages.com and ALM Experts. Mr. Bello is a sustaining and Justice PAC member of the Michigan Trial Lawyers Association, Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Member of the American and Michigan Bar Associations, Member of Public Justice and Public Citizen, Member of InjuryBoard, out-of-state member of the Mississippi Association for Justice and a business associate of the Florida Justice Association, Texas Trial Lawyers Association and the Consumer Attorneys of California. His articles have appeared in LawyersandSettlements.com, FindLaw, The West Reporter, The Safety Report, Plaintiff Magazine, Advocate Magazine, and other fine legal publications.

2 Comments

Have an opinion about this post? Please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

  1. Jim Walker says:
    up arrow

    As to health care QUALITY: a federal study a few weeks ago showed Texas came in DEAD LAST in the nation – that’s right, the bottom 2 %. Remember when Texans for Lawsuit Reform (the puppet lobby arm of the health care insurance and self-insured industry) promised massive decreases in cost and incrases in quality would come with 2003 tort reform? We can see now that the only increase was campaign contributions TLR made to its allies in the Legislature and to Perry, and the only decrease was accountability and concomitant quality of care.

  2. Jim Walker says:
    up arrow

    As to health care QUALITY: a federal study a few weeks ago showed Texas came in DEAD LAST in the nation – that’s right, the bottom 2 %. Remember when Texans for Lawsuit Reform (the puppet lobby arm of the health care insurance and self-insured industry) promised massive decreases in cost and incrases in quality would come with 2003 tort reform? We can see now that the only increase was campaign contributions TLR made to its allies in the Legislature and to Perry, and the only decrease was accountability and concomitant quality of care.