|Medical Economics has an excellent article regarding the current medical malpractice crisis that's being debated nationwide, and especially here in MD now.
Nationally, physicians believe overwhelmingly that the liability system is broken and needs to be fixed, preferably through federal legislation modeled after California's Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA), enacted in 1975. The centerpiece of that law is a $250,000 cap on noneconomic damages — which limits compensation for pain and suffering. (Twenty-two states now cap noneconomic damages, although only a handful have adopted the strict MICRA limit. For a breakdown of states.)
Opponents of tort reform—plaintiffs' attorneys, consumer groups, moderate and liberal Democrats—say it won't work because it doesn't get to the root of the problem. The real problem, they insist, isn't only a broken liability system but the insurance "underwriting cycle"—the periodic fluctuation in premiums that reflects the strategic decisions and fortunes of companies doing business in the professional liability market.