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The New York Times reluctantly reports that tort reform in Texas has produced precisely the results its advocates predicted:
Four years after Texas voters approved a constitutional amendment limiting awards in medical malpractice lawsuits, doctors are responding as supporters predicted, arriving from all parts of the country to swell the ranks of specialists at Texas hospitals …
This does not mean, as many opponents of tort reform claim, that patients have no recourse in legitimate malpractice cases. Plaintiffs can recover economic losses of up to $1.6 million and non-economic losses of $250,000 from as many as three separate providers.
If our masters in Washington would take a few minutes off from demagoguing SCHIP and pass serious malpractice reform on a national level, the distribution of medical providers would track patient demand rather than local legal climate, and the inflationary effects of defensive medicine would be significantly reduced.