AAJ Disputes Governor Perry’s Malpractice Reform Claims

In a blog post on Rick Perry’s Texas record, the Washington Post (8/15, Plumer) reported, “Perry can claim credit for a 2003 law that caps malpractice awards. Perry said, ‘We’ve had the most sweeping tort reform in the nation,” adding “that Texas has added some 20,000 physicians since the law was passed.” The Post adds, “Technically, he’s right, though critics of the law, like the American Association for Justice, which represents trial lawyers, counter that the number of doctors in the state has simply been growing at the same rate it always has.”

Julian Brookes also cast doubt on Perry’s claims in a Rolling Stone (8/15) “Politics” blog post entitled “Rick Perry and The Texas Miracle That Wasn’t.” Brookes quoted the Washington Post piece, which reported that while “Perry-championed tort reform brought in 20,000 physicians into Texas,” he “has done nothing to control health care costs.” Additionally, New York Times op-ed columnist Paul Krugman “doesn’t even buy that there’s a Texas miracle,” Brookes reported. According to Brookes, Krugman noted the state’s 8.2 percent unemployment and said “most of Texas’ job growth is the result of population growth, fed by high birth rates, Mexican immigration, inward migration from other states, and relatively low housing costs.”

From the American Association for Justice news release.

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