Press Release: New Report Details Texas' Tragic Experience with Medical Malpractice Laws
Ware Wendell, Executive Director of Texas Watch, a non-partisan citizen advocacy organization that has sought to protect patients and preserve access to justice since 1998, released the following statement regarding the organization’s latest report on Texas' harsh medical malpractice laws:
"In Washington, a debate will soon take place about the rights of patients and the privileges given to physicians, hospitals, other medical providers, and insurers. The proponents of H.R. 1215 are writing checks they can't cash, promising to improve patient access to health care, reduce costs, and improve quality, but Americans would pay the cost. The Orwellian-named ‘Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017’ would place burdensome caps on the damages patients can recover, no matter how egregious the harm, among other harsh provisions.
“These same promises were made in Texas 14 years ago when the state passed radical medical malpractice laws. These promises have not been kept, and patients, their families, and taxpayers have paid the price. Nearly a decade and a half in, the Texas experience reveals a trail of broken bodies and lives ended or altered forever – with insurers and the worst medical providers reaping the greatest rewards.
“Under the Knife: A Texas Tragedy looks back at the impact of the state’s medical malpractice laws over the course of the last 14 years. The report makes it abundantly clear that Texas' so-called ‘reforms’ were not designed to help individual Texans. In the end, the story of the 2003 legislation is the violence it has done to our justice system, and the toll these special interest laws take on everyday Texans. It is nothing less than a Texas tragedy.”