The SE Texas Record Apr. 18, 2016, 3:06pm


Obama Care was touted as a way to make healthcare more affordable and accessible, but results have been mostly the opposite.

You don't need an advanced degree in economics to know that the way to get more of something is to create a friendly environment for it, not a hostile one. Encourage competition and innovation; don't stifle them. Put out a welcome mat, not a “Go Away!” sign.

For decades, the trend in Washington and in many states has been in the other direction. Not that long ago, Texas was going down the same road, doctors were leaving in droves, and the quality of healthcare in our state was declining.

Legal reforms, such as our cap on medical malpractice awards, turned that trend around by providing physicians some protection against frivolous lawsuits and unreasonable claims, reducing the costs of their insurance premiums, increasing the number of doctors practicing in Texas, and making medical care more affordable.

A study released last month by WalletHub, a personal finance website, confirms once again that the reforms have been a benefit for our state and its citizens. “2016’s Best & Worst States for Doctors” ranks Texas as the sixth best state for members of the medical profession.

“Texas’ medical liability laws are considered the gold standard by which all state liability laws are measured,” comments Jon Opelt, executive director of the Texas Alliance for Patient Access. “Our landmark reforms have been a huge boon to keeping and attracting physicians to care for more Texas patients.”

According to Opelt, “Our reforms have been a key component in stopping the exodus of doctors – especially from our emergency departments – and attracting a record number of new doctors to our state.”

Those reforms have not found favor with plaintiffs attorneys. They loathe the Omnibus Tort Reform Act of 2003 in general and the cap in particular and are forever seeking to eliminate these obstacles to their self-enrichment.

Someone should put out a “Go Away!” sign for them.

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