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Civitas Poll: Malpractice Reform Supported by Majority of NC Voters

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Raleigh, N.C. – Sixty-six percent of North Carolina voters said they support legislation that allows an injured party to collect for lost wages and medical care but limits non-economic damages, according to a new poll released today by the Civitas Institute.

Currently in medical malpractice cases there is no limit on what an injured patient can receive for pain and suffering, which some believe drives up the cost of health care.  Sixty-six percent of voters said they would support legislation that would allow an injured party to collect for lost wages, medical care, and other actual damages, but limit non-economic damages to $250,000.  Twenty-six percent of voters said they would oppose such legislation, and 8 percent said they do not know or have no opinion.

“Voters recognize that medical malpractice lawsuits contribute to increased health care costs,” said Civitas Institute President Francis De Luca. “States that have adopted Medical Malpractice reform have seen malpractice insurance for doctors decrease.”

Legislation to limit non-economic damages to $250,000 is universally supported across political parties with 74 percent of Republicans, 62 percent of Democrats, and 61 percent of unaffiliated in favor of the idea.

“Adopting malpractice legislation is a common-sense approach to help drive down health care costs and increase the number of doctors practicing in high need, high risk practices such as Obstetrics,” added De Luca.

Large support for medical malpractice legislation may be in part from voter sentiment toward trial lawyers.  When asked who they personally trust more, 79 percent of voters said doctors, 5 percent said trial lawyers, and 12 percent said none or other.

The Civitas Poll is the only monthly live-caller poll of critical issues facing North Carolina.  For more information on Civitas polling see http://www.nccivitas.org/category/poll/.

Full text of questions:

“Currently in medical malpractice cases, there is no limit on what an injured patient can be awarded for non-economic damages, sometimes called pain and suffering. Some believe this drives up the cost of health care. Would you support or oppose legislation that would allow an injured party to collect for lost wages, medical care, and other actual damages but limit non-economic damages to $250,000?”

Total Support – 66%

Total Oppose – 26%

Strongly Support – 40%

Somewhat Support – 26%

Somewhat Oppose – 10%

Strongly Oppose – 16%

Don’t Know/No Opinion – 8%

“Who do you personally trust more, between…”

Doctors – 79%

Trial Lawyers – 5%

None/Other – 12%

Don’t Know/Refused – 5%

Click here for full results and crosstabs.

This poll of 600 registered general election voters in North Carolina was conducted February 10, 12-13 by National Research, Inc. of Holmdel, NJ.  All respondents were part of a fully representative sample of registered voters in North Carolina.  For purposes of this study, voters interviewed had to have voted in two of the past four general elections or were newly registered to vote since 2008.

The confidence interval associated with a sample of this size is such that: 95 percent of the time, results from 600 interviews (registered voters) will be within +-4% of the “True Values.” True Values refer to the results obtained if it were possible to interview every person in North Carolina who had voted in two of the past four general elections or were newly registered to vote since 2008.

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This article was posted in Press Releases by Katie Trout on February 22, 2011 at 11:23 AM.

© 2011 The Civitas Institute. Visit us on the web at www.nccivitas.org.
This article can be found at http://www.nccivitas.org/2011/civitas-poll-malpractice-reform-supported-by-majority-of-nc-voters/

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