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ATLA CLAIMS GAO MALPRACTICE REPORT SHOWS AMA MISLED PUBLIC.

The Association of Trial Lawyers of America last week hailed the release of the General Accounting Office report on medical malpractice insurance as showing the American Medical Association, the insurance industry and politicians had misled the public about the existence of a medical malpractice crisis.

The report concluded increases in medical malpractice insurance premiums appear to have been slower in states that have capped noneconomic damages, but it said data were limited (Liability & Insurance Week, Sept. 2).

In a letter to members, ATLA's newly elected president, David S. Casey Jr., said the report, Medical Malpractice: Implications of Rising Premiums on Access to Health Care (GAO-03-836), showed the "supposed crisis...doesn't exist, or has been extremely overblown."

He said the report "strongly supports the case that there are lots of reasons for the few problems of access to care the GAO could confirm, while the AMA blames everything on medical malpractice litigation."

He noted the report "specifically criticizes as unreliable the two data sources relied on by the doctors, PIAA and Jury Verdict Research," and added it "supports the case that the doctors, in effect, blackmailed the legislatures and governors in Nevada, Pennsylvania and West Virginia."
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Publication:Liability & Insurance Week
Date:Sep 8, 2003
Words:195
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