I recently read an op-ed pieces in the Wall Street Journal entitled, “Why Doctors are Heading to Texas.” The article, written by Joseph Nixon a member of what I presume is a conservative pro-business propaganda machine, describes how tort reform in Texas has lead to a massive influx of medical doctors to the state.
Mr. Nixon points to two “reforms” which created the doctors’ rush to the Lone Star State. First, the state legislature capped medical malpractice damages for noneconomic damages at $250,000. Second, it changed the standard of proof for suits against Emergency Room physicians from simple negligence to “willful and wanton” negligence.
This type of tort reform produces several results. First, it means that a home maker or child under the age of 18 who is killed due to the negligence of a health care provider is worth a maximum of $250,000 to the grieving family. Second, it means that the Emergency Room physician who misses clear indications of an impending heart attack and discharges a patient who, one week later dies from a heart attack, is not held legally accountable.
Maybe most importantly for Texans….it means that all of the poor doctors who have long track records of lawsuits in other states will move to Texas to practice their craft!
Hey Texans…you might think about moving out of the Lone Star State before you need good medical care!