Tort reform, of course, resulting in substantially lower medical malpractice premiums and expenses, and an influx of 7000 doctors, including into many underserved regions. One indirect benefit: with less money spent on medical malpractice lawyers, self-insuring hospitals can spend more on doctors and on medical practice:
Take Christus Health, a nonprofit Catholic health system across the state. Thanks to tort reform, over the past four years Christus saved $100 million that it otherwise would have spent fending off bogus lawsuits or paying higher insurance premiums. Every dollar saved was reinvested in helping poor patients.
Also of relevance: the amusing results when Texas added evidentiary standards of medical harm to their asbestos and silicosis docket. Suddenly, over 99% of the cases went away because so few suing plaintiffs had a doctor willing to certify harm. (Joseph Nixon, WSJ, May 17). Related: POL Nov. 6, 2006 and POL Nov. 7, 2006, where I debate Texas law professor Charles Silver on these issues. Suffice it to say that the last year and a half has provided more support for my position than his.
Update: more data at Texas Medical Association website.