The American Association for Justice has published an article that establishes what we have known now for some time–that state tort “reforms” have provided a boon to insurance companies, while physician and patient premiums continue to skyrocket. The winner: insurnace companies, whose profits have hit record levels. The losers: doctors and, especially, patients, whose fundamental rights have been taken from them.
“An analysis of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and company annual statements shows malpractice insurer profits are 24 percent higher in states with caps. In these cap states, insurers took in 3.5 times more in premiums than they paid out in 2008. In contrast, insurers in states without caps took in just over twice what they paid in claims.”
98,000 people die every year from preventable medical errors, yet the insurnace industry and the chamber of commerce want o place nonsensical limits on patients’ rights simply to pad insurance companies’ profits. This profits-over-people model is anti-American and unethical.
The report establishes that the “medical malpractice insurance industry has seen a 47 percent increase in profitability in the last 10 years. Overblown ‘reported’ losses were used by the insurance industry to justify new measures restricting the rights of those injured by medical negligence.”
Americans need to fight back against the myths spread by special interest group. Over 30 states have been fooled into thinking caps on daages will help pemiums. They haven’t. In the meantime, though, “the average profit of the 10 largest medical malpractice insurers was higher than 99 percent of Fortune 500 companies and 35 times higher than the Fortune 500 average.”
To view a copy of Insurance Company Handout: How the Industry Used Tort Reform to Increase Profits While Americans’ Premiums Soared, visit http://www.justice.org/clips/Insurance_Company_Handout.pdf.
As I mentioned, It is widely accepted that approximately 98,000 Americans die every year as a result of medical errors. That’s like two 747 airplanes full of passengers crashing to the ground every day for a year. Yet, some legislators want to strip innocent victims of their constitutional rights, including limiting their recoveries, instead of focusing on preventing future errors.
Our leaders should be fighting for safer drugs, safer hospitals, better medical practices, and a safer American health system. We must put people over profits.
About the author:
Mr. Zambri is Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, DC and has been rated by Washingtonian magazine as a “Big Gun” and among the “top 1%” of all lawyers in the Washington metropolitan area. The magazine also describes him as “one of Washington’s best–most honest and effective lawyers” whose practice is dedicated to handling catastrophic personal injury matters, including medical malpractice actions stemming from defective or dangerous medications and medical errors. He has also been named a “DC Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyer magazine (March/April 2009)–a national publication that honors the top lawyers in America. If you need a patient advocate, we recommend that you read an article about medical malpractice claims authored by senior partner Salvatore Zambri.
Mr. Zambri is regularly asked to present seminars to lawyers and doctors, as well as both medical and law students concerning medication errors, medical malpractice litigation, and safety improvements.