August 20, 2009
Health care reform that actually works!By William Tate
"Where's the Republican plan?"
It's one of the red herrings that apologists for Obamacare pull out of their bag of clichéd talking points when pressed to justify Democrats' attempt to grab control of 18% of the nation's economy.
Well, here's a modest proposal. Rather than looking to Massachusetts or Tennessee for examples of health care reform, why not look to Texas?
The Lone Stare state has its problems, but in recent years it has made major progress in improving health care availability, especially in predominantly poor and minority regions. Being Texas, the solution wasn't budget-busting, either.
Their answer? They got rid of the lawyers.
Not literally. But they did take on that perennial pillar of the Democrat Party, the trial lawyers.
In an Op-Ed published in the San Francisco Examiner earlier this month, Texas Governor Perry points out that in 2003 the state implemented laws that shielded health care providers from trial lawyers "anxious to make a quick buck."
At a time when a debate rages over whether the U.S. has enough doctors, Texas has seen its number of doctors leap by about 15,000. And Perry points out that tort reform has brought service to critically underserved, predominantly minority and poor communities.
The Rio Grande Valley has seen an 18 percent growth in applications to practice medicine, adding about 200 doctors to this critically underserved area."
According to state Representative Joe Nixon, many of Texas' news physicians have moved to rural or underserved areas, and "Texas, once listed as 47th worst state in the ratio of doctors per citizen, will soon be in the lower 30s and improving."
Perry says Texas tort reform has had other benefits to patients:
Further, according to the Texas Academy of Family Physicians, tort reform has resulted in an improvement in the quality of health care in Texas, with the percentage of complaints about medical care actually going down.
Yet, despite the striking evidence of tort reform benefits in the nation's second most populous state, this simple, basic and essential component of health care reform is completely missing from all Democrat proposals.
According to opensecrets.org, Democrats received over $178,000,000 from lawyers' donations during the 2008 election cycle -- three times what they donated to Republicans. Over $43,000,000 of that went to the Obama campaign.
Forty-three million reasons why Obamacare doesn't include the one component of health care reform that has been proven to work: tort reform.
William Tate is an award-winning journalist and author