Perry Lauds Impact Of Tort Reform On Texas Health Care

EDINBURG (September 9, 2013)--Ten years after legislation was enacted that capped the amount of money victims could be awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits, Gov. Rick Perry says the effects are indisputable.

Perry said the cap headed off a looming crisis because of skyrocketing insurance rates stemming from liability claims against doctors that were twice the national average.

“Ten years ago, Texas doctors were faced with an awful choice: stop providing critical services their patients desperately needed, shut down their practice altogether, or leave the state,” he said.

The tort reform measures passed in 2003 and sent to voters as a constitutional amendment capped the non-economic damages that could be awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits against doctors at $250,000, among other provisions.

Since passage, the number of direct care physicians in Texas has increased 24 percent, outpacing the state's population growth, the Texas Department of State Health Services says.

.”Since Proposition 12 passed 10 years ago, Texas has added more than 30,000 doctors with significant gains in communities that had been traditionally medically underserved,” Perry said Monday.

“Many of the same lawsuit reforms we passed also freed entrepreneurs and employers across our state to worry less about lawsuit abuse, and invest fewer resources in defending them,” he said.

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