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Mike Ferrara
Mike Ferrara
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Myth #5: Tort reform will lower insurance rates.

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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 #5: Tort reform will lower insurance rates.

Fact: It is absolutely not the case that doctor liability premiums will go down if national malpractice reforms are passed. States that have already passed caps on damages have shown that while insurance companies don’t have to pay out as much in these states, they don’t pass on the savings to doctors by lowering premiums. In 2009, premiums in capped states were actually more than $1,000 higher per year, on average, than premiums in states with no caps.

Tort reforms simply don’t translate to insurance price reductions for anybody—doctor or patient. The idea that malpractice lawsuits are unduly clogging the legal system while wasting American taxpayers’ money and driving doctors out of business is absolutely baseless. 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.