The Universal Healthcare Network of Ohio refutes the myth that insurance premiums are the fault of the victims which Dick Cheney came to their state to peddle: UHCAN Ohio, the statewide nonprofit organization working to achieve quality, affordable health care for everyone, supports the outrage of physicians at skyrocketing medical malpractice premiums. But, says, Cathy Levine, Executive Director, "Physicians, in demanding limits on damage awards to victims of medical malpractice, are aiming their anger at the wrong target."...A comprehensive study of medical malpractice insurance, released October 10 2002, by Americans for Insurance Reform, found the amount medical malpractice insurers have paid out, including all jury awards and settlements, have not been on the rise. Not only has there been no 'explosion' in medical malpractice payouts at any time during the past 30 years, but payments have been extremely stable and virtually flat since the mid-1980s. A recent study of all medical practice lawsuits in Cuyahoga County, which has the state's highest malpractice insurance premiums, demonstrated that the number of lawsuits and amounts of judgments in Cuyahoga County actually declined in the past ten years, demonstrating that the boost in premiums is not related to escalating litigation. In a March 13, 2002, press release, the American Insurance Association (AIA), a major insurance industry trade group, stated, "The insurance industry never promised that tort reform would achieve specific premium savings." This echoes a similar admission by American Tort Reform Association three years earlier.


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