Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The Smoke Around Malpractice Insurance

Kevin Drum parses the medical malpractice problem. Contrary to popular wisdom the problem isn't the lawyers, its the insurance companies.
"California is often held out as a model for the nation because we instituted payout caps a couple of decades ago. But so did a lot of states, and it hasn't helped much. What everyone chooses to forget is that California also did something else: it instituted some of the toughest regulations in the country on insurance companies. That's done a lot more to keep malpractice premiums under control than the payout caps.

If the AMA had any sense, they'd team up with the trial lawyers to agree on some sensible restrictions on malpractice suits and then train their collective guns on the insurance companies. That might not be as emotionally satisfying, but on the other hand it might actually work."

Update: Maybe the Swedes have a model for doing just that.

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