Letters to the Editor

Of Texas and tort reform

I don’t believe that Tom Keefe proved his point in his Sunday Opinion piece.

He cited an item about Texas not having enough qualified physicians and he implied that this was a result of that state’s comprehensive tort reforms. This is a bit of a logic leap.

I looked at the article on the Texas Medical Society website and it says absolutely nothing about tort reform causing a shortage of physicians there. The article does mention other factors, the main one being a lack of school slots for doctors in the state. Texas is still a growing state. People are leaving Illinois and California to work there.

Medical care in Illinois is more expensive because doctors must cover the potential exposure to outrageous lottery-like awards for medical malpractice lawsuits. Doesn’t anyone remember the drives that local hospitals had a few years ago to keep our doctors in Illinois?

Why were they leaving? Because of high insurance costs. What drives it? The attorneys making their living on these malpractice suits – attorneys like Keefe, I’m sure. With his kind of compensation he shouldn’t worry about medical costs being higher, but what about us average wage earners trying to make ends meet? He is not doing us fellow Illinoisans a service.

I believe patients are entitled to fair compensation for medical malpractice, but not so much that it chases physicians out of the state or causes the cost of our care to escalate to cover their insurance.

Marc Miller