EDINBURG, Texas (AP) Ten years after legislation capped the amount of money victims could be awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits, Gov. Rick Perry says the effects are indisputable.

Perry, speaking in Edinburg Monday, called the litigious environment prior to reform a "crisis." He said juries had been giving outrageous awards, but reform improved access to care.

The measures passed in 2003 known as tort reform capped the noneconomic damages that could be awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits against doctors at $250,000, among other provisions.

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, the number of direct care physicians in Texas has increased 24 percent since 2003, outpacing the state's population growth.

Hidalgo County though has the highest rate of uninsured residents among urban counties anywhere in the country.