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Mike Ferrara
Mike Ferrara
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Myth #3: Doctors are fleeing.

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The campaign to slip widespread tort reforms into America’s health care bill is gaining momentum it doesn’t deserve because people are blithely accepting its exaggerations, distortions, and outright lies as fact.

To combat this, the American Association for Justice has just released a report called “Five Myths About Medical Negligence,” which exposes the tort reformers’ media campaign as the propaganda it really is.

Myth #3: Doctors are fleeing.

Fact: No they’re not. Compelling data from the American Medical Association shows that the number of practicing physicians in the U.S. has been steadily increasing ever since the 1960s—faster, moreover, than the population. While tort reformers will try to spin this statistic by claiming that states with no malpractice caps are driving doctors to states with malpractice caps, the truth is that doctor numbers have increased in every state except four. Which four? Alaska, Georgia, Montana and Utah, all states with malpractice caps.

The idea that malpractice lawsuits are unduly clogging the legal system while wasting American taxpayers’ money and driving doctors out of business is simply bogus. On the other hand, medical negligence is very real, and any responsible health care reform bill must find a way to meaningfully address issues of patient safety.

Stay tuned as the week goes on for more myths about tort reform.