Friday, June 03, 2011

Texas's Medicare Spending Has Gone UP Since Tort Reform

Tort reformers and Gov. Perry tout the success of Texas's medical malpractice tort reform as a cost control measure. But, this article from the Washington Post shows that Texas spending on Medicare has actually gone up since 2003:
For instance, we could look at Texas, where non-economic damages on malpractice lawsuits were capped at $250,000 about eight years ago. You might remember when Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich said:
Texas, for example, has adopted approaches to controlling health-care costs while improving choice, advancing quality of care and expanding coverage. Consider the successful 2003 tort reform.

So what happened to costs of care after that law was put in place? Public Citizen analyzed just that (pdf) using data from the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care (Selected Medicare Reimbursement Measures):


Texas is blue, the nation is red, and the law went into place at the dotted line. If anything, Texas’s Medicare spending seems to have gone up faster than the nation’s since 2003. Hardly a persuasive argument for tort reform = cost control.

And this is what Gov. Perry wants to share with the rest of the country by being the next President???

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