Sunday, February 02, 2003

According to a study by the Americans for Insurance Reform, a project of the Center for Justice and Democracy, the cause of increased premiums in New Jersey is not the tort system, but in fact lies with the business practices of the insurance companies. This paper says that

"When measured in constant dollars,the average payout per doctor rose somewhat from 1976 to 1983,but was stable to slightly down between 1984 and 2001.In other words, medical malpractice claims payments (in constant dollars) have been flat over the last decade.


Further,

premiums have risen and fallen in concert with the state of the economy — insurance premiums (in constant dollars) have increased or decreased in direct relationship to the strength or weakness of the economy, reflecting the gains or losses experienced by the insurance industry’s market investments and their perception of how much they can earn on the investment “float” (which occurs during the time between when premiums are paid into the insurer and losses paid out by the insurer) that doctors’ premiums provide.


This outfit is apparently a coalition of concerned groups, including, interestingly, the Tort Reform Institute in Australia, and the U.S. Public Interest Group, among other groupd nationwide.



These assertions are the core of the argument. Big business and the insurance industry would have you believe that tort reform will be a panacea for those burdened with high malpractice premiums. This study completely debunks the assertion.

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