Insurance Industry Admits Caps Won’t Work
Plans to Keep Price-Gouging Consumers and Doctors Alike
"We have not promised price reductions with tort reform."
“Non-economic damages are a small percentage of total losses paid. Capping non-economic damages will show loss savings of 1.0%.”
"I don't like to hear insurance-company executives say it's the tort system - it's self inflicted."
"No responsible insurer can cut its rates after a [medical malpractice tort 'reform'] bill passes."
"I don't think we would argue that the premiums are likely to go down. We believe it will have the effect of reducing the increases in the future. And one of the reasons the premiums won't go down is that even if noneconomic damages are capped, the losses for economic loss, medical expenses, for example, are still in this current environment escalating at, medical inflation is running in the double digits. I forget exactly what it was last year. So even if you were to cap noneconomic damages, the economic damages will still cause acceleration in the premiums. So it would not go down, I want to clarify if I misspoke and said I thought the premiums would go down."
"Insurers never promised that tort reform would achieve specific premium savings..."
"[M]any tort reform advocates do not contend that restricting litigation will lower insurance rates, and 'I've never said that in 30 years.'"
"We wouldn't tell you or anyone that the reason to pass tort reform would be to reduce insurance rates."
"Insurance was cheaper in the 1990s because insurance companies knew that they could take a doctor's premium and invest it, and $50,000 would be worth $200,000 five years later when the claim came in. An insurance company today can't do that."
"While MICRA was the legislature's attempt at remedying the medical malpractice crisis in California in 1975, it did not substantially reduce the relative risk of medical malpractice insurance in California."
Republished with the permission of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America.