Florida Today- July 7, 2009- Matt Reed. Lawsuits are not the force behind rising health care costs in Florida. An analysis of state data regarding FL medical malpractice cases from the past 5 years shows evidence of fewer lawsuits (annual number of malpractice suits per Floridian has dropped 8% since 2005), lower litigation costs (claims resolved for an average of 57 cents on the dollar), and cheaper malpractice insurance (average doctors insurance premium has declined by 8%), yet the cost of health insurance premiums continues to rise. While tort reforms imposed by voters and the FL Legislature in 2003 and 2004 made it more difficult to bring medical malpractice lawsuits in the state, these reforms did nothing to lower the cost of health care. These restrictions, such as a cap on damages for suffering, a restriction of attorneys contingency fees, and special requirements of patients seeking to bring suit (patients must pay a doctor for a case review and affidavit to even have the chance to bring suit) have simply resulted in a limitation of patients rights, while doing nothing to lower the cost of health insurance or increase the quality of health care in the state.
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