Back in 2004, the medical and insurance industries pushed Ballot Measure 35 in Oregon. The measure
would have imposed a $500,000 cap on non-economic damages for medical malpractice. The campaign pitted fat-cat against fat-cat as trial lawyers — always a deep-pocketed political force — faced off against the combined economic might of even larger forces.
Proponents of the cap predicted imminent doom if they were to lose—which they did by one of the narrowest margins
(PDF) in Oregon ballot measure history.
So what happened?
Contrary to the doomsday
scenarios cap proponents painted, the Oregon Insurance Division released information
(PDF) yesterday showing malpractice premiums in Oregon have dropped steadily and significantly since Measure 35 lost.