Letter to the Editor: Insurance reform is what can help doctors

State Journal-Register
Wednesday, March 5, 2008

By Jason Held, Staff Director, Center for Justice & Democracy-Illin
In his op-ed column, "Illinois medical liability reform in hands of Supreme Court," on Tuesday, Rodney Osborn seems happy to trade patients’ rights in favor of insurance industry interests. Medical malpractice caps, in any form, lessen the protection of patients and the ability to hold wrongdoers responsible, period, and they do nothing to fix doctors’ insurance problems.
The people truly hurt by these limits, or caps, are the innocent victims of medical malpractice. People who by no fault of their own have their lives ruined and live in constant pain, unable to complete the simplest of tasks and with the constant reminder of the high cost of medical malpractice.
Contrary to Osborn’s implication, Illinois is a strong choice for business and was so before caps passed. In 2005, Site Selection magazine had ranked Illinois 13th in its list of top business climates in the nation. Forbes.com listed three Illinois counties among the best locales in the country for business and careers.
What’s more, a just-published study by the Harvard School of Public Health and George Mason University found that the supply of OB/GYNs in a state has no relationship to either doctors’ malpractice premiums or a state’s liability laws.
History has proven time and again that the only thing that works to lower rates for doctors is strong insurance regulatory reform. When California and other states did this, including Illinois, rates dropped and competition increased.
This country was founded on the right to trial by jury. We trust life-and-death decisions to this group of our peers. Juries are the only ones who listen to the evidence in a case and make decisions based on the notion of individualized justice. Caps take that power and authority away and are unconstitutional.
For a copy of the complete article, contact CJ&D.

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