Standing on a wobbly soapbox:
“We stood up to the trial lawyers’ interest groups and the governor to make sure doctors would be able to stay in our state without the fear of baseless, exorbitant lawsuits. The costs of those lawsuits were being passed along to patients, and in an already broken health care system, we had to act.
First of all, if a large portion of those suits were "baseless", they would (or should) have been contested, and legal fees reassigned to the losing plaintiff. But setting aside that plainly illogical claim, let's look at what motivated him to make that declaration:
A medical malpractice insurer has lowered its premiums and is crediting what is often called tort reform in this and other states. Mag Mutual Insurance Co., the second-largest such firm in the state, credits the new laws with almost half of its recent 7.4 percent average cut in insurance premiums for doctors.
Seems pretty straightforward, right? Wrong. Mag Mutual is actually owned by doctors, and they've been doing rather well from said ownwership:
Atlanta, GA – (June 9) - One of the country’s leading physician medical professional liability insurers, MAG Mutual Insurance Company, is distributing a $16.5 million dividend to more than 17,000 policyholders across the Southeast. This is the largest single-year policyholder dividend in the mutual company’s nearly 30-year history.
"This year's rating upgrade represents MAG Mutual's financial strength and stability amid a still-struggling economy," says President and CEO Joe S. Wilson, Jr., MD. "This shows our physician-policyholders we can and will be there for them whenever they need us."
Including this year’s substantial dividend, MAG Mutual will have distributed nearly $62 million to physicians from June 2007 through May 2012. This is the fifth consecutive year MAG Mutual has issued dividends. Few other medical liability insurers can match MAG Mutual’s record of issuing dividends for 13 of the past 17 years.
“As a doctor-led mutual insurance company, we are mindful of the many challenges that our physician policyholders and their medical practices face,” said Dr. Roy Vandiver, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, MAG Mutual. “The physicians we insure, who provide a consistently high level of care for patients, have all contributed to MAG Mutual’s continued success.”
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