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Lawmakers say medical malpractice claims are excessive. Experts disagree.

With a change in power in both houses of Congress and the presidency, Americans are waiting to see what these next few years bring to the country. Texans should be aware that some political leaders want "tort reform" as part of the transition away from President Obama's Affordable Care Act to the next, to-be-determined health care plan. In fact, several lawmakers are questioning the validity of many medical malpractice suits, claiming that frivolous lawsuits are negatively affecting health care costs, including increases in insurance premiums. 

Industry experts, however, do not believe such a crisis exists, pointing to the fact that the cost of medical malpractice insurance is the lowest it has been since 2001, and the proposed "tort reform" could place undue burdens on thousands of victims of doctor negligence.

Laws are in place to protect victims of medical malpractice in all forms. Still, medical malpractice is a serious concern. In fact, over 250,000 victims die due to medical errors in the United States each year. It is important for politicians to understand the importance of medical malpractice claims so that victims are properly compensated when errors occur and a patient's health or life is jeopardized or even taken as a result of a medical error.

Source: Washington Post, "Top Republicans say there's a medical malpractice crisis. Experts say there isn't." By Chad Terhune, Dec. 30, 2016

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