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The Impact of Tort Reform on Private Health Insurance Coverage, February 2010


  • Max Schanzenbach


This study evaluates tort reform's impact on private health insurance coverage. Tort reform may reduce costly damage awards and defensive medicine. On the other hand, tort reform may increase health care costs by reducing doctors' caretaking or increasing questionable treatments. Reducing health care costs should increase health insurance coverage rates, while cost increases should decrease coverage rates. We find that between 1981 and 2007 damage caps, collateral source reform, and joint-and-several liability reform increased health insurance coverage among price-sensitive groups between one-half and one percentage points each. We conclude that tort reform reduces health care costs, at least for price-sensitive groups. Copyright 2010, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Max Schanzenbach, 2010. "The Impact of Tort Reform on Private Health Insurance Coverage, February 2010," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 263-264.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:amlawe:v:12:y:2010:i:2:p:263-264

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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel Montanera, 2016. "The importance of negative defensive medicine in the effects of malpractice reform," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 17(3), pages 355-369, April.
    2. Cotet-Grecu, Anca, 2015. "The impact of non-economic damages caps on obstetrics: Incentives versus practice style," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 17(C), pages 29-41.
    3. Avraham, Ronen & Schanzenbach, Max, 2015. "The impact of tort reform on intensity of treatment: Evidence from heart patients," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 273-288.

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