September 13th marks the one-year anniversary of the passage of Proposition 12, the radical constitutional amendment that allowed politicians and special interests to rewrite the Texas Constitution and limit Texans’ legal rights. Texas Watch is aggressively tracking and reporting on the impact Prop 12 is having.
Texas families were promised lower healthcare costs, improved access to healthcare, better quality of care, and lower liability insurance premiums for their family doctors. Despite all the best efforts of the governor and large corporate hospitals to claim victory, by the measures that really matter, the early reports are that Prop 12 has failed.
Without a doubt, Texas doctors were being gouged by their insurance companies. That trend continues post-Prop 12. In fact, the Commissioner of Insurance said under oath before a legislative committee that 60% of Texas doctors have seen no benefit from Prop 12.
Instead of keeping their promise to Texas doctors, the insurance companies tried to raise rates by as much as 35.2% this year. The largest liability insurer, TMLT, reduced rates by a meager 12%, but what the supporters of Prop 12 fail to tell you is that TMLT’s rates are still 118% higher today than they were in 1999.
Underserved areas continue to be underserved. Many rural and historically underserved communities have actually seen a decrease in the number of doctors. In most every other region of the state, any increase in doctors has been meager – hardly the flood of new doctors we were promised. Quality of care in Texas continues to be a major source of concern since little was done to solve the epidemic of medical malpractice of bad doctors and careless hospitals.
Texas families were asked to sacrifice their constitutional rights based on the promise of a solution to our healthcare crisis. There are countless stories of everyday Texans who have been denied access to the courts because of Prop 12, and can no longer hold negligent doctors accountable for their actions. Sadly, the healthcare crisis continues for patients and doctors across the state.
Texas Watch will be working diligently with the public, media, and legislators to prevent the passage of further limits on the legal rights of Texas consumers and families. To learn more about Texas Watch’s efforts to protect Texans’ constitutional rights visit www.TexasWatch.org.