Insurance Industry and Tort Reform News
"The Civil Rights Movement of this decade is Mental Health Care quality and equality."
-- Updated March 12, 2006 --
[ Local News (Seattle) ]
[ National News (USA) ]
[ Advance Directives ]
The mission of this page is to provide links to news and information about the so-called "tort reform" movement. What is tort reform? Generally speaking, tort reform refers to legislation that limits the amount of civil lawsuit awards to plaintiffs who are suing for medical malpractice and other forms of personal injuries. Such legislation generally also limits the amount that may also be awarded to attorneys representing the suing party.
Washington State Governor Negotiated a "Settlement."
The question for physicians is generally whether this is the best way to go about trying to find ways to reduce malpractice insurance rates. To date, it is a solution full of "holes." Major endorsers of such reform are pharmaceutical companies and other businesses and, of course, the insurance industry. The benefits to physicians is highly arguable.
The argument that Washington State tort reform should more or less mirror California tort reform needs to be closely examined. Does that argument mean "mirror just the tort reform" or does it also mean "mirror the tort reform and the insurance reform" that has taken place in California? See links below for more information.
Check back often to find updated links and information about tort reform.
In 2006, Governor Gregoire negotiated a "settlement" between consumers, doctors and attorneys regarding malpractice insurance and tort reform issues in Washington State. Please check the following links for more information.
Some History of Washington State Tort Reform.
Two initiatives had been considered in 2005. Neither one passed. Millions of dollars were spent on the efforts to get these more-or-less opposing initiatives passed by voters. Please check the following links for more information.
Tort Reform and Malpractice Insurance News of 2004.
The tort reform and malpractice insurance debate in Washington started in earnest in 2004.
Thank You for Stopping By!
Links to reports (and ground-breaking reports)
- Seattle P-I editorial posted February 12, 2004 -- Unnecessary lawsuits limit care.
- Seattle Times article posted February 11, 2004 -- Cap on lawsuit damages clears Senate once again.
- From the Seattle Times -- Health Care and Costs Page.
- Seattle P-I article posted August 9, 2004 -- Okla. to launch tort reform for doctors.
- Seattle P-I article posted June 22, 2004 -- Why legislate? Initiative end run.
- Seattle Times article posted June 18, 2004 -- Initiative filed to cap malpractice awards.
- Seattle Times article posted July 20, 2004 -- Cheney pushes for cap on malpractice awards.
- Seattle P-I article posted December 30, 2003 -- Liability blame game hurts patients.
- Seattle P-I letters to the editor posted December 26, 2003 -- Letters to the Editor about Tort Reform and Medical Malpractice Insurance.
- Seattle P-I article posted December 22, 2003 -- Focus on doctors' insurance problem.
- Seattle Times article posted December 18, 2003 -- Locke floats malpractice remedy.
- Governor's Office Press Release dated December 18, 2003 -- Gov. Gary Locke, State Leaders Aim to Protect Patients and Control Medical Malpractice Insurance Premiums.
- Seattle P-I article posted December 14, 2003 -- It's a prescription that won't cure ills.
- Seattle Times article posted December 8, 2003 -- Doctors to press harder for damages cap in malpractice suits.
- Seattle Times article posted August 10, 2003 -- GOP using 'tort reform' as powerful political club.
- Seattle Times article posted June 4, 2003 -- Ad brings physician back to life.
- Seattle P-I article posted May 29, 2003 -- Doctors rally across state for lower malpractice premiums.
- Seattle P-I article posted May 27, 2003 -- Malpractice issue won't die -- Lawyers keeping eye on senators who would back liability limits.
- Seattle Times Editorial posted March 20, 2003 -- Reduce errors, cap awards.
- Washington State Bar News posted March 2003 -- The Crisis of Tort Reform — Let's Blame the Lawyers.
- Seattle Times article dated January 16, 2003 -- Bush Pushes for Medical-Malpractice Caps.
- Seattle Times article dated October 13, 2002 -- Malpractice issues driving donations for legislative races.
- Seattle Times article dated September 20, 2002 -- Rising malpractice costs could pare patient care, medical group warns.
- Seattle P-I article dated September 20, 2002 -- Doctors flee state's high insurance premiums -- Obstetric services in local areas feel pinch; state seeing a net loss of practitioners.
Washington State Medical Association
- From Universal Health Care Action Network, Ohio Branch. This may be one of the most important articles for physicians to read. Here is how consumers generally feel. Consumers' Message To Physicians On Medical Malpractice Crisis: Target The Insurance Industry, Not Injury Victims.
- Check Americans for Insurance Reform -- Protecting Rights, Not Wrongs. They have published two ground-breaking reports which are small Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) files:
- From Consumer Watch Dog -- MICRA did not lower insurance premiums in California.
A study cited in the above article "concluded that MICRA was not responsible for the reversal in premium growth; tougher insurance regulation imposed in California in 1988 -- Proposition 103 -- probably accounted for the greater reduction in premiums witnessed in recent years. But insurers still charged too much for malpractice liability insurance in California, according to the report; MICRA's chief effect was to enrich the insurance industry." (Cite: Harvey Rosenfield, California's MICRA: Profile of A Failed Experiment in Tort Law Restrictions (Los Angeles, Ca. June 1993), pp. 11-16)
- From Consumer Watch Dog -- Texas Medical Malpractice "Crisis" Is About Insurance Accountability Not Legal System -- California Experience Points to Need for Stronger Regulation.
- The Grandfather of all tort-reform, malpractice insurance reports was posted in July 1999 by the Center for Justice and Democracy -- Major Report Shows No Cut in Insurance Prices Due to "Tort Reform."
- Check National Public Radio's report dated December 18, 2002 -- Rates Affect Premiums, Not Big Jury Awards. Wade Goodwyn reports the fight is on in Texas over legislation to limit medical malpractice lawsuit awards, with doctors on one side and lawyers on the other. Lawyers oppose the malpractice caps, saying they'll make serious medical mistakes affordable for doctors. That claim outrages physicians, who say without the limits on lawsuits, insurance rates skyrocket and doctors go out of business. What is the truth?
American Bar and Washington State Bar Associations
Pro Tort Reform Organizations
- Best wishes, Ron Sterling M.D. (Seattle, Washington, USA)
[ Age of Consent for Medical Treatment ]
[ Alcohol Awareness Month ]
[ Death Penalty ]
[ Cut Drug Costs ]
[ Fundraising News ]
[ HMO News ]
[ Drug Policy ]
[ Jail Diversion ]
[ Medicare/Medicaid ]
[ Mental Health Month ]
[ Mental Health Parity ]
[ Privacy News ]
[ Rallies ]
[ Stigma ]
[ Tort Reform ]
[ Universal Health Insurance ]
[ Activist Home ]
[ DearShrink.com ]
[ What's New ]
[ Hot News ]
[ Hot Dates ]
[ Hot Sites ]
[ Hot Issues ]
[ Hot Advocates ]
[ Government ]
[ Mental Health Task Force ]
[ Soapbox ]
[ Recovery ]
[ Volunteer ]
[ Site Index ]
[ Links ]
[ Donations ]
RON STERLING, M.D.
Copyright 2000-2007. Ron Sterling, M.D.
All Rights Reserved.