( – promoted by OKWatchdog)
Oklahomans are a step closer to giving politicians and insurance companies control of their legal system while gaining nothing in return.
Should HB 1603 become law, economic growth will be unchanged. Doctors’ medical malpractice premiums will not decrease. Health care will not be more affordable or more accessible.
The bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee today on a 6-2 vote.
States with sweeping, one-sided changes like those in HB 1603 have the same economic growth rate as those without the so-called “reforms” – 3.5 percent.
HB 1603 clearly will increase profits for one group – insurance companies.
If profits in states without noneconomic damage caps were the same as those in states with caps, insurance companies would have made an additional $9.2 billion in 2005.
Oklahomans need to begin asking who is driving this agenda. As their profitability clearly shows, it’s some of America’s most greedy corporations that are seeking to irrevocably take away our rights.
HB 1603 won’t make the slightest difference in economic growth or affordable health care, but it will make some extremely rich people even richer.
In calling for passage of HB 1603, the medical lobby claims that doctors are leaving the state.
However, Oklahoma’s doctor population grew by a respectable 24 percent from 1997 to 2007.
Doctors who leave the state typically do so because of a relative lack of residency training programs and a desire to live elsewhere; lawsuits have no bearing on these decisions.
Oklahoma is graduating and training as many doctors as its medical schools and hospitals can accommodate. Claims otherwise are nothing but a smokescreen. It’s truly sad to see doctors become pawns of insurance companies that have made their lives and those of their patients miserable.
Medical malpractice premiums for internists, general surgeons and obstetrician-gynecologists are 2 percent higher in states with caps than in states without caps.
Only insurance reform will truly save doctors money.