Gov. John Rowland’s pledge on Tuesday that he will veto the medical malpractice insurance reform act when it crosses his desk is an encouraging sign that the governor is serious about implementing a lasting antidote to assure accessible and affordable health care and limit frivolous lawsuits, according to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI).
“PCI wholeheartedly supports Gov. Rowland’s pledge to veto Public Act 04-155 and pursue other solutions to repair the state’s broken medical liability system,” said Richard Stokes, PCI regional manager and counsel. “This legislation is a Band-Aid solution to a liability system that is hemorrhaging. This legislation would do nothing to provide meaningful tort reform, and would potentially only add costs for insurers and consumers.
“Just as Gov. Rowland said, it is crucial that tort reform include a limit on noneconomic damages to place limits on skyrocketing litigation costs. Such a limit would stabilize medical liability rates, and it is a shame for the citizens of Connecticut that the Legislature scrapped a proposal this session to implement a $750,000 cap on noneconomic damages.PCI hopes that the Legislature will reopen this issue during the next session or during a special session.
“It is no wonder that Connecticut is included on the American Medical Association’s top 18 states-in-crisis-list. Medical liability premiums are three times lower in states that have caps on noneconomic damages than in states that don’t. The cost of noneconomic damage awards is paid by all other Americans through higher health care costs, higher health insurance premiums, higher taxes, and reduced access to quality health care.”
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