Perhaps to the disappointment of some of his lawyerly supporters, New York Governor Eliot Spitzer seems to be among those who recognize that the upward spiral in the cost of insuring doctors against malpractice is not just a figment of someone's imagination. His administration has just approved an average 14 percent rate hike, which will bring doctors' payouts to some remarkably high levels:
Offering a sample of what doctors will now pay, Ms. [Lynda] Adams of the Medical Society of the State of New York] says a Long Island neurosurgeon's insurance bill will be $309,000, a Brooklyn obstetrician's plan will cost $173,000 and a Westchester orthopedic surgeon's coverage will cost $108,679.
Spitzer and insurance commissioner Eric Dinallo have also appointed a commission to look into remedies for the crisis. E.J. MacMahon, of the Manhattan Institute's Empire Center for New York State Policy, has some advice for the panel (and cites the work of the Institute's Center for Legal Policy).