Oct 28, 2011

Tort reform worked

Letter to the editor of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

Opponents of smart, common-sense legal reforms regularly release "reports" that rely on tortured data to back up their narrow view that reforms are bad for Texas. (See: "8 years after tort reform, its benefits are disputed," Oct. 12) Their twisted conclusions simply don't hold water.

Today, as a result of voter-approved reforms, Texas has more physicians per capita than ever before: adding enough doctors since 2003 to provide 6.4 million more patient visits than would have occurred without these reforms.

In all, more than 20,000 physicians have been licensed to practice in Texas since 2003, and many came here because of our reformed legal climate.

The change also has allowed hospitals to re-invest their liability savings to expand services, improve patient care and increase charity care in their local communities.

In short, needed reforms have provided a level of affordability and predictability for providers and allowed them to focus on what matters most -- keeping Texans healthy.

-- Evelyn Merrill, M.D., Fort Worth

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