Governor Spitzer recently announced that he approved a 14% increase on medical malpractice insurance within his state. At the same time, the governor also commissioned a task force to examine the state of medicine and malpractice insurance. Malpractice insurance providers argue that they need to increase premiums in response to medical malpractice litigation. They further argue that, without the insurance premium increases, they would be forced to leave the state and discontinue writing policies. Doctors, at the same time, argue that the increase in premiums may force doctors leave the state and may discourage young people from taking up the practice of medicine. However, the doctors do not point to any statistics that show that doctors actually have been leaving the state or that patients have been unable to attain the health care that they require. Similarly, the insurance providers do not point to any specific figures that would support the otherwise counterintuitive assertion that a large insurance company is having a hard time making a profit. Hopefully, these are some of the claims that the Governor’s task force will investigate.
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