Letter to the Editor: Effects of "tort reform"

Denver Post
Tuesday, March 8, 2005

Re: "Questions raised on malpractice policy costs," March 4 business news story.
I'd suggest that Colorado Insurance Commissioner Doug Dean re-examine the facts before making another statement to the effect that Colorado is one of the states where "tort reform is working very well." Aside from doing untold harm done by blocking victims' access to the courts, so- called "tort reform" has done nothing to lower medical liability insurance premiums for doctors in Colorado.
Copic, the largest medical liability insurer in the state, has raised rates on doctors more than 37 percent since 2001 and has just announced a 15.9 percent increase for 2005.
A study released in 2003 by Americans for Insurance Reform details how Colorado's insurance industry has long adjusted its claims based on the rise and fall of the market, irrespective of the amount of claims brought against it. Recent revelations that the leading insurer in Washington state improperly raised rates on doctors to the tune of more than $1 million is just further evidence that what is really needed in this state and across the country is insurance reform.
Patrick Buckley
Center for Justice & Democracy
New York

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