This study evaluates tort reform's impact on private health insurance coverage. Tort reform may reduce costly damage awards and defensive medicine. On the other hand, tort reform may increase health care costs by reducing doctors' caretaking or increasing questionable treatments. Reducing health care costs should increase health insurance coverage rates, while cost increases should decrease coverage rates. We find that between 1981 and 2007 damage caps, collateral source reform, and joint-and-several liability reform increased health insurance coverage among price-sensitive groups between one-half and one percentage points each. We conclude that tort reform reduces health care costs, at least for price-sensitive groups.
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