Malpractice plan needs more work
Like a hungry family that settles for a sub-par fast-food meal, the West Virginia Legislature chewed on the issue of medical malpractice for more than a month, but went away hungry for something more satisfying. Lawmakers facing the regular session say they're not in the mood for leftovers, but unless they do something, the state is likely to get fiscal indigestion.
On Saturday lawmakers voted to set up a state-run insurance plan that would operate on an interim basis until something better is crafted. The plan would cover only those doctors who can't get coverage elsewhere until there's agreement on one of two other options.
The first would be an assigned risk pool, in which every insurer who provides casualty coverage in the state would be required to offer malpractice insurance, at much higher rates than doctors now pay. The other would have doctors run their own insurance company, taking the risks and sharing the profits.