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GAO study shows medical groups created “crisis” to push their own agenda

Public Citizen issued a press release regarding the medical malpractice “crisis” that has been claimed nationwide. According to the watchdog group there is no evidence to back up the claims of “crisis” made by malpractice insurance and appears to be an agenda pushing manufactured situation. For this reason, Public Citizen announced that Congress and state legislatures should “abandon efforts to take away patients’ legal rights.”

In the GAO study released on August 29, 2003, the agency found that the American Medical Association (AMA) and other medical provider groups created the current “crisis” situation claiming it was in cause because of the increase in medical malpractice lawsuits. The GAO report then went on to refute these claims and that the states labeled to be in a “crisis” situation and the doctors were unable to provide medical care to its patients was not in fact true.

Five of the states had actually increased medical care delivered to patients but the AMA was claiming just the opposite. The overall number of doctors that were practicing in the crisis states identified by the AMA had also not declined, according to the GAO and had been pointed out by Public Citizen.

Public Citizen supplied data to congressional lawmakers in opposition of medical malpractice caps on non-economic damages by explaining the insurance industry was the one pushing medical malpractice caps due to losses suffered because of the economic cycle. The consumer group believes that the AMA report only strengthens its previous stance, however lawmakers are still talking about reconsidering medical malpractice caps.

In conclusion, the GAO researched find the AMA complaints unfounded but the consumer group is worried that the created situation will continue to drive more states and Congress to pass policies limiting medical malpractice lawsuit caps.


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