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Newt Gingrich Panders To Doctors Without The Facts

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Newt Gingrich is now writing opinion pieces for the Philadelphia Inquirer about the topic of tort reform. Its premise is that the real victims of malpractice claims are:

The Economy and New Jobs.

I guess it’s timely, but where the heck is the proof for that? His examples of cases of tort reform that were passed and how much better things are in those areas. Wait a second, is he saying that the economy and employment numbers would be even worse if it wasn’t for those changes? Because those numbers aren’t very good right now.

The article then goes on to cite the proof that 10,000 doctors have moved or stayed in Texas due to the change and that substantial money has been saved. But as fellow Injuryboard member Steve Lombardi points out:

Common sense tells us those physicians who are more likely to move to Texas to take advantage of this cost shifting measure must be looking for a break from the malpractice premium’s brought on by their own professional mistakes. Let’s face it if a physician needs to move to a state that passes the cost of the worst medical mistakes on to the patient they must be looking for someone else to pay for their worst mistakes. Do Texans really want to attract physicians with the worst skills?

Also if things are that good why is the champion of the bill, Rep. Michael Burgess, a physician as well as a Republican congressman from Flower Mound , saying:

"It’s still early, defensive medicine practices are learned early in a doctor’s career. It takes awhile to change that." When he was asked about the University of Alabama study that found "Tort reforms have not led to health care cost savings for consumers" – as published in the December issue of Health Sciences Review.

Now there ware financial changes according to the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy, Medicare spending in Texas rose 24 percent in the three years after the state capped malpractice awards. In Dallas, it went up 27 percent during the same period, 2003 to 2006, which really should have Newt scratching his head. Instead, he concludes with a call for Pennsylvania to do what Texas did. For the consumers of Pennsylvania, lets hope not.