The Iowa Trial Lawyers Association brought in a national speaker yesterday (Tuesday) who blames the insurance industry for rising medical malpractice insurance rates. Joanne Doroshow, executive director of the Center for Justice and Democracy, says lawmakers and the public should understand what has caused the insurance problems for doctors, and she says it’s not trial lawyers winning big malpractice verdicts against doctors but insurance companies trying to make-up for bad investments. She says now the rates doctors are paying for medical malpractice insurance are going down now, and it’s time now to reassess what really caused the problem. Doroshow argues limits on what juries or judges can award in medical malpractice lawsuits are not the answer. “You can’t address this problem, bring down rates for doctors and prevent these future crises from happening by addressing the legal system,” Doroshow says. She says states should pass laws that control the rates insurance companies charge doctors for malpractice coverage. Doroshow says the rates insurance companies have been charging doctors were not justified. Doroshow says some states have gotten “better control” over medical malpractice insurance premiums by regulating the rates companies can charge doctors. She says the state of Iowa should hire an advocate to work on behalf of doctors and protect them from excessive insurance rate hikes. Doroshow says it’s time for states like Iowa to unmask the insurance industry, which she says operates under a cloak of secrecy and require insurers to show whether rate hikes are connected to losses due to medical malpratice claims or losses in the investment markets.
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