Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

'Nuff Said Department

From my old friend* Marc Rodwin, in the latest Health Affairs:

As Marc concludes:

To paraphrase Mark Twain’s comment on reading his obituary in a newspaper, the reported recent demise of medical practice as a result of rising malpractice premiums has been greatly exaggerated. The perception that increased malpractice premiums cause a crisis is at odds with evidence from the AMA surveys. These surveys indicate that premiums have consistently been a small percentage of total practice expenses . . .Claims that the level of malpractice premiums justify a tax credit to prevent physicians from leaving the practice of medicine are hyperbole, especially when physicians’ income is viewed compared with that of others. Average physician income in 2003 was between the ninety-fifth and ninety-ninth percentiles for all Americans.

I got nothing to add. The AMA and its paid representatives in Congress need to start worrying about other issues.

*I was his TA for a course in health policy many years ago.

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