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Brexit wins at the polls in the U.K.; major changes come to New England immigration courts today; and more than a million acres in California have been cleared for oil and gas drilling.

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The House passes legislation to reign in drug prices, Sen. Bernie Sanders is on the upswing, and entrepreneur Andrew Yang plays Iowa congressional candidate J.D. Scholten - who's running against long-time incumbent Steve King - in a game of basketball.

Report: Insurance Companies May Be Pushing Doctors Out of Wyoming

June 7, 2007

It's costing more and more for Wyoming doctors to afford malpractice insurance, but a new report says there's no good reason for the spike in rates. Doctors in Wyoming who perform high-risk work can pay as much as $93,000 a year for insurance premiums. Insurance companies say the rates are needed because of more lawsuits and higher payouts, and they're calling for a limit on those payouts. But report author Jay Angoff with the American Association for Justice says financial statements from 15 top insurers show they've actually been paying less for claims, and charging doctors more.

"Malpractice claims have been going down for the last seven years, projected future malpractice claims have been going down for the last four years. Throughout all that time, malpractice rates have been going up, so it doesn't make sense."

Late last year a Wyoming Healthcare Commission report showed that of the doctors who say they may leave Wyoming, more than half said malpractice rates were a factor. Angoff points out that in most states, doctors have a right to demand a hearing from the insurance commissioner.

"The first step is for doctors to know that they're being overcharged, and I believe that the data in this report will show even the most skeptical doctor that they sure as heck have been being overcharged for the last several years."

The report is online at
www.justice.org/pressroom/No%20Basis%20for%20High%20Insurance%20Rates%202007.pdf.

Kevin Clay/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - WY