"For 20-plus years, the insurance industry, aided by tobacco interests, polluters, developers and the medical industry, have been engaged in a pitched battle to take away the legal rights of families. Our state has been the front line in a battle for our Constitution. Sadly, the Constitution is losing, and Texas families have been the collateral damage.
All of this has been done in the guise of “reform,” but real legal reform should be designed to protect everyday Texans, making Texas a safer and healthier place. What we've been handed in Texas certainly doesn't fall into that category. The only real beneficiaries of the decades-long fight in Texas have been a handful of powerful special interests that have boosted their bottom lines on the backs and broken hearts of countless Texas families.
These interests like to proclaim that this is all about reining in lawyers. That is just rhetorical spin to divert our attention from the real targets — Texas patients, homeowners, workers, seniors and families.
Lately we have heard a lot from these interests about Texas-style, anti-patient laws as a solution to our nation's health care crisis. When insurance lobbyists rammed through legal changes that were designed to severely limit the legal rights of Texas patients in 2003, we heard high-falutin' rhetoric promising dramatic improvements in the cost, access, and quality of health care. If only it were as simple as that.
What has actually happened? Health care costs have risen dramatically in Texas; we rank near the bottom in per-capita physicians; rural and underserved areas continue to struggle to attract new physicians; and Texas has the nation's highest rate of uninsured."
By: Alex Winslow
October 16, 2009