Doctors have been fighting vigorously for tort reform to in the hopes that it will relieve them from sky rocketing medical malpractice premiums. Doctors and their advocates arguelarge payouts and frivolous lawsuits are causing high premiums, but recent insurance company profits may tell a different story.
ISMIE Mutual Insurance Company went to battle two years ago and was able to persuade Illinois lawmakers to cap jury awards in malpractice cases. They argued that the high payout drove up insurance premiums. The caps were passed, but the doctors have not seen any relief. Premiums are still on the rise, but now with the caps ISMIE is keeping more money in its pocket.
ISMIE reported a $50 million profit this year, the biggest profit since the 1980s. Even with all that profit doctors still have no relief from high premiums. It looks like ISMIE was lobbying lawmakers for their own benefit and not the benefit of their clients, the doctors. The caps do not seem to be helping, and big awards are not causing premiums to rise. The doctors own insurance carriers are the ones causing the problems, not innocent medical malpractice vicitms. Maybe it’s time the lawmakers revisit the issue.