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Health Care Crisis

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Essay title: Health Care Crisis

Health Care Crisis

There are currently about 46,000 licensed doctors practicing in the state of Pennsyvania, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State and many are leaving. The health care crisis has become a hot topic in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. With many doctors preparing to leave and some of which have all ready left the state due to the rising costs of medical malpractice insurance. According to the American Medical Association Pennsylvania is one of twelve states in the midst of a liability crisis.

“Steven Barrer doesn't want to move to New Jersey. ‘I'm being forced out,’ Barrer said. A neurosurgeon affiliated with Abington Memorial Hospital, Barrer has been dropped by his current malpractice insurance carrier and will be uninsured as of Jan. 1, 2002. According to state law, doctors cannot practice medicine without malpractice insurance. Barrer paid $72,000 for his malpractice insurance in 2000, $132,000 this year. If forced to get insurance from the state's Joint Underwriting Association (a state-operated association that provides malpractice insurance to doctors unable to get it from commercial insurance companies), he said it would cost $328,000”. (1)

There are many issues that impact the rising cost of the malpractice insurance rates. But there are several groups that seem to be the most affected in these cases. They are the doctors, lawyers, insurance carriers and the patients. Medical malpractice lawsuits seem to be the predominant factor for the increase of insurance premiums. For the most part it is cheaper to “settle a case” then to proceed with a jury trial. Those that do actually go to a jury trial nationally is only about 9%.

In Bucks and Montgomery Counties it is mainly neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons and obstetricians that seem to be the most affected by the insurance rates. Nationwide however the median

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