How to keep doctors in your state? Here’s a solution:
Rather than mindlessly regurgitating American Tort Reform Association propaganda, Pennsylvania State Representative Josh Shapiro has come up with a solution that benefits patients and doctors: medical school loan forgiveness for doctors who practice medicine in Pennsylvania.
HARRISBURG, April 16 -- State Rep. Josh Shapiro, D-Montgomery, introduced legislation today that would strengthen Pennsylvania's
health-care system by encouraging more doctors to practice medicine in the Commonwealth...
Shapiro's proposal (H.B. 1093), which has 23 co-sponsors, would create a medical school loan forgiveness program for doctors who promise to practice in Pennsylvania for 10 years.
"We already have world-class medical schools that attract top medical school students to Pennsylvania," Shapiro explained. "The problem is,
because of a variety of factors, those students leave Pennsylvania when they graduate med school. My legislation creates incentives to keep
those doctors in Pennsylvania to practice and care for our citizens."
Tuition to the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine is about $40,000 per year. Depending upon the details of the bill (which aren't yet available on the Pennsylvania Legislature's website), H.B. 1093 has the potential to save doctors in excess of $10,000 per year for ten years. This is a concrete, quantifiable savings that applies equally to all doctors.
Proposed tort "reforms", on the other hand, wouldn't apply equally to all doctors. Those in high-risk specialities purportedly will see a bigger savings than those in less risky practice areas. And of course, doctors without malpractice insurance won't save a dime in malpractice premiums. Worse still, even the malpractice insurers themselves won't make anything more than vague promises of premium reductions in exchange for things such as damage caps. Even if they wrote the legislation themselves (which they often do) insurers couldn't come up with any package of "reforms" that would guarantee a specific monetary savings to doctors with malpractice insurance. In some cases, insurance rates have even gone up after "reforms" have been passed!
Rather than restricting the rights of injured patients, Shapiro (and 23 co-sponsors) have proposed a solution that benefits patients and doctors at the expense of neither. Why not give this sort of a solution a chance before dismantling the civil justice system? Surely the "reform" movement can't object to tuition forgiveness for doctors...