We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Texas set a limit to medical malpractice awards, and finally they are getting the doctors they need. Tiger Hawk.
It's simple economics. If doctors know they might get wiped out by a loony judgement of a jury, as Tiger Hawk points out, they will either tend not to practice - or to avoid all high-risk cases. Not to mention the cost of malpractice insurance - up to $200,000 per year for some specialties in some areas of the country. Not to mention all of the useless and expensive tests docs order, purely to cover their asses.
Malpractice awards have driven up the cost of health care, but I think the threat of lawsuits has had a bigger impact. Doctors and hospitals practice defensive medicine, running unnecessary tests out of fear of being later sued for something they missed.
CYA medicine slows down and dehumanizes care, brings adversarial attitudes into the doctor-patient relationship, frustrates patients and doctors alike, pushes good doctors out of the system, and of course drives up costs.
I think one of the best things we could do for medicine in this country is malpractice tort reform.
Taking some of the incentive away like this may not get things balanced out as quickly as some of us would like, but it can serve as a model to other States. Nice, gradual, Federalist friendly method. The trick will be other States taking notice.