Letter to the Editor: Insurance Industry Issues

Washington Times
Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Wednesday's editorial "Malpractice maelstrom" falsely contends that limiting compensation to medical malpractice victims will lead to lower insurance premiums for Illinois doctors.
History and recent experience show this to be untrue. States that have tried
to solve doctors' insurance problems by limiting patients' rights have seen
rates rise instead. This is because the price-gouging of doctors is caused by an out-of-control and unregulated insurance industry, not the legal system.
According to a study by Americans for Insurance Reform, the amount of money paid out since 1991 by medical malpractice insurers in Illinois as a result of jury awards and settlements consistently has dropped below the rate of medical inflation. Furthermore, medical malpractice premium increases do not correspond with payouts.
The record is clear: This is an insurance industry problem. Reforming the
business and accounting practices of the insurance industry, not stripping the rights of injured patients, is the only way to solve it.

James Freedland
Center for Justice & Democracy 
New York, NY

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