In his 2015 state budget, Iowa Governor Terry Brandstad included a section on “Helping Keep Doctors in Iowa,” that proposed a cap on non-economic damages in medical practice claims. The Des Moines Register responded with an editorial in opposition (by way of The Pop Tort). The editorial cited a study by the University of Iowa’s Carver School of Medicine where the school surveyed all doctors leaving Iowa in 2007 and 2008. Of the 220 who responded, only one cited concerns about medical malpractice awards as the most important reason for leaving. This finding is consistent with the studies done by Bernard Black, Charles Silver, and David Hyman. Caps will not significantly affect physician supply and they have a disparate impact on the most seriously injured. The studies indicate that Governor Brandstad’s proposal may not be the correct solution for a perceived shortage of doctors in Iowa.
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