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Is Raising the Medical Malpractice Cap Bad for Business?

In a time where health care costs are soaring, and many working people are unable to afford medical insurance, some worry about a new bill being worked on by Colorado Senate President Peter Groff. Groff’s proposed bill would eliminate the $300,000 cap placed currently placed on non-economic losses (ie pain and suffering) in medical malpractice cases.

While patient advocates and trial lawyers believe the elimination of the cap is a positive move, others worry that it will increase the cost of malpractice insurance, which had been rising as much as 73% per year prior to the passage of the Health Care Availability Act in 1988. Since 1988, rates for malpractice insurance in Colorado have stabilized, and are considered affordable in comparison to other states.

Research about the impact of malpractice settlements on malpractice insurance rates and the cost of medical care is contradictory. However, few can deny that states with extremely high malpractice insurance rates are facing a shortage of doctors in certain higher risk specialties like obstetrics. Those who do practice in states like Florida, are sometimes forced to make the choice to practice without insurance, or to make the move to a different location or a different medical specialty.

What side of the malpractice reform debate do you stand on? Leave a comment!


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