May 13, 2009                                                                                                      

Joanne Doroshow (212) 267-2801

New Consumer Fact Sheets on Medical Liability, Tort Reform and National Health Care

NEW YORK -- Americans for Insurance Reform (AIR) has released 14 new "fact sheets" covering various medical malpractice and tort issues that may be part of discussions by Congress and the Administration in developing national health care proposals. The "fact sheets" together support the view that the legal rights of injured patients should be preserved and that any weakening of those rights will unfairly burden malpractice victims. They also show that eliminating medical malpractice claims will result in negligible health care savings while increasing errors and their costs.

Joanne Doroshow, AIR co-founder and Executive Director of the Center for Justice & Democracy, said, "AIR and patients' rights advocates favor guaranteed health insurance coverage to help anyone in need of medical care. However, provision of such care should never be accomplished by taking away the right to trial by jury for someone legitimately injured, or reducing the accountability of any hospital or provider that endangers patients. We hope these fact sheets will be helpful to anyone examining this issue."

The fact sheets are titled as follows:

* Insurance Industry's Investment Practices - Not The Legal System - Cause High Malpractice Insurance Costs;
* Costs Of The Current Medical Malpractice System Are Much Lower Than People Think;
* The Defensive Medicine Myth;
* Health Courts Are Unconstitutional;
* Health Courts And Other Alternative Systems Are Intolerably Unfair To Injured Patients;
* The Significant Costs Of Alternative Systems;
* The Problem With Medical Malpractice Is The Amount Of Malpractice Itself;
* Far From Being "Broken," The Current Medical Malpractice System Works Well;
* Litigation Improves Patient Safety And Establishes Responsibility For Errors;
* Fear Of Litigation Is Not Why Doctors Fail To Report Errors Or Communicate With Their Patients;
* Juries V. Cost Savings - An Unacceptable Trade-Off;
* Eliminating Juries Means Few Cases Will Settle;
* Lowering Insurance Costs For Doctors Requires Insurance Industry Reform;
* A Critical Patient Safety Solution: Remove Or Sanction The Small Number Of Bad Doctors Committing Most Malpractice.

AIR is a coalition of public interest organizations from around the country that seek stronger oversight over property/casualty insurance industry practices. It is a project of the Center for Justice & Democracy, a national consumer organization.







[email protected]
Americans for Insurance Reform, 90 Broad St., Suite 401, New York, NY 10004; Phone: 212/267-2801; Fax: 212/764-4298
(AIR is a project of the Center for Justice & Democracy)