Newspapers, magazines, and academic journals have focused public attention on the general crisis in liability insurance. The medical malpractice insurance crisis has polarized the positions of the insurance and legal communities. The insurance industry views the problem as part of a general litigation explosion driven by overgenerous jury awards, the unpredictable scope of tort liability, overzealous attorneys, a highly litigious social climate, and disproportionate attorneys' fees. Not surprisingly, the litigation bar blames skyrocketing premiums on the greed and mismanagement of the insurance industry as well as on poor physician performance. Physicians, whose insurance rates are soaring, are caught in a legal and economic whirlpool. The intense debate has forced legislatures to generate proposals to "solve" the crisis. But recent regulatory proposals designed to alleviate the high costs and unavailability of medical malpractice insurance are as predictable as the crisis itself. Ten years ago, states faced a similar situation. The regulatory proposals to mitigate rising premium costs that were offered then are strikingly similar to the current proposals.

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