Jon Opelt, executive director of Texas Alliance for Patient Access, said tort reform in Texas has benefited patients by adding nearly 5,000 more physicians than can be accounted for by population growth.
also said that patients have greater access to specialists in high-risk fields of medicine, and more emergency room doctors are willing to be on call because their fears of lawsuits have been reduced.
Before the 2003 reforms, "55 Texas counties saw a net loss of physicians and ... some 99 counties lost a high-risk specialist," Opelt
"An estimated 5,000 high-risk specialists restricted their practice due to liability concerns."
Silver and his fellow researchers' unpublished study says Texas Medical Board data that Opelt cites on new physician applications and licenses do not account for doctors who left the state or retired, creating vacancies for their jobs; physicians who don't treat patients but do research or administrative work; and physician growth compared with other states.
Linking tort reform to the health care costs is a "straw argument," Opelt
wrote in an email, saying his
group never promised that.
noted the study says there could be an effect on health care spending in the future.
"We did not and we have not led lawmakers and voters astray," he
group was the largest contributor to a campaign to persuade voters to approve tort reform, Yes on 12, donating $1.2 million.
said his group had nothing to do with the fliers and directed questions to campaign leader Ted Delisi.