The State Insurance Department begins an inquiry today into whether the state should set up its own medical malpractice insurance system for doctors. The hearing comes on the heels of the Governor’s veto of a bill limiting the medical malpractice lawsuits are filed. Supporters of the bill had claimed insurance rates had become prohibitive for many doctors because of the ease of filing often-unjustified malpractice lawsuits. Governor Bob Holden rejects that idea. State Insurance Superintendent Scott Lakin has called today’s meeting to see if the medical malpractice insurance business is non-competitive. The state already operates an insurance program for worker’s compensation, set up a decade ago when commercial workers comp insurance rates skyrocketed. Those rates dropped after that. But, a state medical malpractice insurance program might face tough opposition in the Legisalture. House Speaker Catherine Hanaway says government competition with the private sector does not work.
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