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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Texas tale: Carol tells of tort reform

The Union Leader takes issue with Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter's claim that tort reform didn't have meaningful benefits when Texas tried it.
That would be news to Texans. The Dallas Morning News reported in 2007 that because of tort reform, "(t)he number of doctors applying to practice in Texas every year has increased more than 50 percent, relieving desperate shortages in some rural areas."

In four years, the number of insurers offering malpractice coverage rose from four to 33.

When a woman at Saturday's town hall meeting challenged Shea-Porter's assertion that tort reform accomplished "nothing," Shea-Porter denied her earlier claim. "What I did say was that premiums for individuals and families didn't go down. I'm sure there were some improvements for physicians."

Boy were there. The cost of malpractice insurance dropped an average of 27 percent, according to the Texas governor's office. Shea-Porter pretends that didn't help patients because health care providers did not immediately lower their prices. It's true, they didn't.

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