Letter to the Editor: There’s No Such Thing as a Reasonable, One-Size-Fits-All Cap

New York’s The Post-Standard
Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Your April 10 editorial, "Malpractice Mess," argues for the passage of a "reasonable cap" on damages in medical malpractice cases. There is no such thing as a reasonable "one-size-fits-all" cap.
A child who suffers brain injury should not be treated like a senior citizen abused in a nursing home, a mother who loses a child. Where there is gross negligence, jurors can decide compensation better than can any politician in Albany. Caps only hurt those who suffer the most.
Consumer advocates have long known that the only way to stop periodic insurance crises for doctors is to get better control over the business and accounting practices of the insurance industry.
That involves stricter rate regulation, public oversight and repeal of the industry's extraordinary exemption from antitrust laws.
Until we do that, nothing will change. Lawmakers should not try to solve doctors' insurance problems on the backs of patients, who continue to be unjustly blamed for insurance problems they did not cause.
Patrick Buckley, field organizer for the Center for Justice & Democracy, writes from New York.
New York City

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