I could have figured this out without the chart below posted at Yahoo News:
One of the main things that makes the difference in the Texas health insurance premiums is the law passed on Texas regarding medical lawsuits.
According to the article:
Perry’s most significant achievement on health care was a successful 2003 attempt to convince voters, over the determined opposition of trial lawyers, to amend the Texas Constitution to cap non-economic medical malpractice damages at $250,000 from a physician and $500,000 from hospitals and other providers: an issue that most physicians believe is at the heart of what drives wasteful health spending.
The article also points out some of the other factors involved in Governor Perry’s successful healthcare reform in Texas–the legislature Governor Perry was dealing with in Texas was made up of conservative Republicans, when Romneycare was passed in Massachusetts, Governor Romney was dealing with a liberal Democrat legislature. Governor Romney probably prevented Romneycare from being even worse than it is. The other thing to consider is that generally the cost of living in Massachusetts is higher than the cost of living in Texas. The article cites a CNBC survey that ranks Texas eighth-best, and Massachusetts ninth-worst, for cost of living.
The article also has a chart showing how the law in Texas has impacted malpractice claims:
I think the chart above is one of the best arguments for tort reform that I have seen.
Please follow the link to the article at Yahoo News–there is a lot of good information there and also a few very illustrative charts.
The article concludes:
As I said at the top, who you favor between Romney and Perry will depend in large part upon what your priorities are in health care policy. My personal view is that universal coverage is meaningless, if the ultimate consequence of universal coverage is that people can’t afford, or gain access to, basic health care. It is Rick Perry’s Texas that has done more to keep the growth of health costs down, and we should spend more time drawing lessons from his Lone Star State.
Governor Romney is a very nice man. I think he did a reasonable job as governor of Massachusetts, but I for one am ready for a Rick Perry in the White House.