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Either Gov. Perry is lying or he is misinformed. Either way it is a shame that a man running for President does not get his facts straight before he speaks.

As the study, The Impact of the 2003 Texas Medical Malpractice Damages Cap on Physician Supply and Insurer Payouts: Separating Facts from Rhetoric, points out, the facts tell a different story.

In this media environment where no one has the time to learn the truth or perhaps wants to know the truth all that is needed is a politician to supply an easy to understand quick statement for people to shore up their beliefs.

His statement should be “We cannot at this time statistically determine as to the effects that HB 4 has had on the number of physicians per capita.”

Following are few quotes from the study.

“Texas was not losing physicians before HB 4 took effect.”

“The principal evidence of faster growth after HB 4 is the number of license applications received by the Texas Medical Board (“TMB”).”

“Not all applications translate into licensed physicians, not all licensed physicians serve the general patient population, and the change in the physician population depends on both entry and exit.”

“Our findings indicate that HB 4 does not appear to have had a large effect on the supply of DPC physicians.”

“We estimate that the non-econ cap will result in a significant reduction in payouts in both settled and tried cases.”

“Lower payouts, and likely fewer suits, imply lower malpractice
premiums on average, over the course of an insurance cycle.”

Governor Perry also states that tort reform enacted in 2003 has also brought more physicians to rural Texas. If that is the case why then did Governor Perry sign Texas Senate Bill 894 into law on May 12th 2011.

As stated in the article “New law lets rural Texas hospitals employ doctors”:

“Texas has lifted a longstanding ban prohibiting rural hospitals from employing physicians, a move officials hope will help attract doctors to medically underserved areas of the state.”

“Rural hospitals sought the ability to hire doctors because of a growing trend of physicians preferring to be employed rather than risk starting an independent practice, especially in rural communities where residents are more likely to be uninsured, or covered by Medicare or Medicaid, he said.”

Or maybe you can blame the shortage of doctors on the American Medical Association: “Medical miscalculation creates doctor shortage” or other policy issues as outlined by the Texas Medical Association.

So why is there a shortage of physicians in rural areas? Maybe it is a choice, nothing more.

“Because physicians are affluent and in short supply, they tend to locate where they want to live — not, as McDonald’s or a Chinese restaurant might, where the most customers are.”