On Friday New York Times columnist Bob Herbert published yet another lame diatribe against medical liability reform ("Cooking Up a Crisis", Jun. 25) pasting together little factoids from here and there in the Litigation Lobby's defense. MedPundit Sydney Smith has a rapid response (citing our coverage along the way). She points out that Herbert manages to cite a snippet of a General Accounting Office report to his purpose while leaving out a critical statement from the report:
Multiple factors, including falling investment income and rising reinsurance costs, have contributed to recent increases in premium rates in our sample states. However, GAO found that losses on medical malpractice claims -- which make up the largest part of insurers' costs -- appear to be the primary driver of rate increases in the long run. (emphasis Smith's).
For our tag-team coverage of an earlier Herbert column, see last week's posts: Frank, Copland, Olson. The blogosphere's most prominent defender of Herbert's latest column is Atrios, with his usual taste and nuance (no kids, please).