November 12, 2002
“Senator Nelson’s bills offer the wrong prescription for healthcare quality. We have a quality of care crisis and we have an insurance crisis. It is disappointing that neither of Senator Nelson’s bills addresses these crises. Testimony at her committee indicated that the problems with healthcare quality and liability were far more complex than would be indicated by SB12 and SB104, filed by Senator Nelson.
“It was clear to us that Texas lacks reasonable regulatory oversight of doctors and hospitals. The Board of Medical Examiners clearly neither has the will nor the resources to ensure that patients are protected. It is also clear that increases in medical malpractice liability insurance follow the same trends that have led to dramatic increases in homeowners and automobile rates.
“At a minimum, we would have liked to have seen Sen. Nelson’s bills take a tough approach on regulation of healthcare providers and insurers. Rather, what we see in SB12 is an old approach that does not distinguish between legitimate and frivolous cases. It punishes everyone. This is of special concern given the weakness of our regulatory agencies. Senate Bill 104 does not give the public any regulatory tools or information to protect us from bad doctors or bad practices in hospitals while SB12 takes away some of the legal tools available to protect the public in court.”
Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, is an independent, nonprofit testing and information organization serving only the consumer. We are a comprehensive source of unbiased advice about products and services, personal finance, health nutrition, and other consumer concerns. Since 1936, our mission has been to test products, inform the public, and protect consumers.