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View Full Version : Why Medical Malpractice Is Off Limits



Eric Johnson
09-29-2009, 08:10 PM
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204488304574432853190155972.html

http://tinyurl.com/yaqezgb

By PHILIP K. HOWARD

Eliminating defensive medicine could save upwards of $200 billion in health-care costs annually, according to estimates by the American Medical Association and others. The cure is a reliable medical malpractice system that patients, doctors and the general public can trust.

But this is the one reform Washington will not seriously consider. That's because the trial lawyers, among the largest contributors to the Democratic Party, thrive on the unreliable justice system we have now.

-more-

Note: Phillip K. Howard wrote a book years ago titled _The Death of Common Sense_. It's apolitical and a good read.

Henry V
09-30-2009, 09:55 AM
So, when their was a republican president and a republican congress for six years, why did they not make this change?

Even if this savings is at the upper end of the estimate ($200 billion) it is still only 8% of total health care costs per year.

dnf777
09-30-2009, 10:33 AM
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204488304574432853190155972.html

http://tinyurl.com/yaqezgb

By PHILIP K. HOWARD

Eliminating defensive medicine could save upwards of $200 billion in health-care costs annually, according to estimates by the American Medical Association and others. The cure is a reliable medical malpractice system that patients, doctors and the general public can trust.

But this is the one reform Washington will not seriously consider. That's because the trial lawyers, among the largest contributors to the Democratic Party, thrive on the unreliable justice system we have now.

-more-

Note: Phillip K. Howard wrote a book years ago titled _The Death of Common Sense_. It's apolitical and a good read.


If you think it's only dems that are in bed with lawyers, you're dreaming. Not only did we have a republican controlled senate, house, and whitehouse, but the majority leader was a SURGEON! What did we get in the way of meaningful tort reform under them??? NADA, ZIP!

As a physician, I have a personal stake in this argument...as does every other american who has trouble finding a doc in their town, or a quality doc. The best and brightest aren't wasting their talents and years of schooling, sleepless nights and mornings, evenings, and weekends away from their families anymore. Used to be docs wanted to come to America to practice and make money. I can see a time in the not too distant future where American docs, if forced to practice in a socialist system, might as well go to a country where they'll make the same low pay, but have school, retirement, healthcare, and education for their kids paid for by the gov't!!

:2c:

badbullgator
09-30-2009, 10:37 AM
So, when their was a republican president and a republican congress for six years, why did they not make this change?

Even if this savings is at the upper end of the estimate ($200 billion) it is still only 8% of total health care costs per year.


Tort reform has been a topic for many years even before GWB. It is something that is not going to pass in Washington regardless of who is in the WH. Might have something to do with all the trail lawyers that you find up there both in office as well as lobbying those in office. When the lawyers have as much influence as they do it is not likely that they will go against the bread and butter of many of their own
I do find it interesting that as usual the first response has to do with the former administration rather than getting to the heart of the matter.

ducknwork
09-30-2009, 11:00 AM
Even if this savings is at the upper end of the estimate ($200 billion) it is still only 8% of total health care costs per year.

Only??! 8% is nothing to sneeze at. Remind me: 200 billion is what percentage of the amount of money the messiah wants to spend on health care? A little more than 8%, right?


I would like an 8% pay raise...

Not too shabby regards,
________
WEED VAPORIZER (http://weedvaporizers.info/)

Eric Johnson
09-30-2009, 11:33 AM
If you think it's only dems that are in bed with lawyers,...


I find these things and I bring them here as possibly worthy candidates for discussion. I really have no vested stake in how the discussion turns. I may have an opinion but generally I won't express it. This is a long-standing tradition and is based on my running a forum for many years on Compuserve that was similar to this place.

As it happens, I like Phillip Howard's writing style as he makes his point in very few words.

Further, I am well aware of the impact of the legal lobby in both parties. He speaks of the Democratic Congresspersons only because they are in power now and the debate is now. In his other works, he's critical of all sides.

Eric

BonMallari
09-30-2009, 03:07 PM
If you think it's only dems that are in bed with lawyers, you're dreaming. Not only did we have a republican controlled senate, house, and whitehouse, but the majority leader was a SURGEON! What did we get in the way of meaningful tort reform under them??? NADA, ZIP!

As a physician, I have a personal stake in this argument...as does every other american who has trouble finding a doc in their town, or a quality doc. The best and brightest aren't wasting their talents and years of schooling, sleepless nights and mornings, evenings, and weekends away from their families anymore. Used to be docs wanted to come to America to practice and make money. I can see a time in the not too distant future where American docs, if forced to practice in a socialist system, might as well go to a country where they'll make the same low pay, but have school, retirement, healthcare, and education for their kids paid for by the gov't!!

:2c:

you are correct, but its not just the lawyers, its the lobbyists that represent them and other special interest groups...lobbyist is a nice way of saying $$$$ and payoffs and personal gifts and future considerations. Its not a Republican or Democrat issue, its really the issue at the heart of corruption. its the Soros on the left and the Annenberg foundation on the right.All of our politicians are beholding to someone , unfortunately its not you and I

Terry Britton
09-30-2009, 04:32 PM
If you think it's only dems that are in bed with lawyers, you're dreaming. Not only did we have a republican controlled senate, house, and whitehouse, but the majority leader was a SURGEON! What did we get in the way of meaningful tort reform under them??? NADA, ZIP!

As a physician, I have a personal stake in this argument...as does every other american who has trouble finding a doc in their town, or a quality doc. The best and brightest aren't wasting their talents and years of schooling, sleepless nights and mornings, evenings, and weekends away from their families anymore. Used to be docs wanted to come to America to practice and make money. I can see a time in the not too distant future where American docs, if forced to practice in a socialist system, might as well go to a country where they'll make the same low pay, but have school, retirement, healthcare, and education for their kids paid for by the gov't!!

:2c:

The overworked and underpaid nurses won't be far behind along with the safety of our medical care in hospitals.

dnf777
09-30-2009, 05:02 PM
The overworked and underpaid nurses won't be far behind along with the safety of our medical care in hospitals.

Amen.

We'll just be left with a bunch of wealthy, retired lawyers to take care of us.

Gerry Clinchy
09-30-2009, 05:24 PM
if forced to practice in a socialist system, might as well go to a country where they'll make the same low pay, but have school, retirement, healthcare, and education for their kids paid for by the gov't!!


If everyone gets lower pay, as the docs would, who will pay the taxes that provide all that school, retirement, healthcare, etc?

We have minimum wage now. Would we also have maximum wage? If govt can tell execs what kind of compensation they are allowed to have because of govt bailout funds, couldn't govt take the next step & do the same for others ... since they are also beneficiaries of govt benefits like healthcare?

What if the govt decides that in order to make its auto industry "plans" work, the workers need to have less compensation? After all, if the govt is running the show (not the greedy capitalists), then the union isn't really needed, is it? After all, shouldn't some of the "wealth" of UAW workers be "redistributed" to workers who don't get as much for their work? (Don't mean to pick on the UAW, but it just happens to be the union involved with the auto industry.) Maybe not. Govt just decided to continue subsidizing Amtrak.

Goose
09-30-2009, 08:55 PM
It may be true that both parties have ties to the trial lawyers but it's only the democrat party trying to ram down our throats this noxious healthcare bill. The democrats are permanently attached to the lawyers and we'll never get tort reform from them because democrats don't ever want to piss off the trial lawyers. It's much easier to screw the public with a multi-trillion dollar piece-of-crap healthcare bill. BOHICA!

Lucifer was a lawyer.

Hew
09-30-2009, 10:47 PM
In the past 10 years or so there have been significant victories and efforts at tort reform; both at the state and Federal level. To pretend this issue just appeared on the GOP's radar, or that they didn't do anything about tort reform during their tenure at the helm is as weak as trying to give the impression that Republicans are neck-deep in trial lawyer money, too. The Democrats get more trial laywer money than Republicans by a 4:1 margin (which is a huge disparity when you consider that most industry lobbies make an effort to spread the wealth a little more equitably). Speaking of 4:1...that's also the ratio that the trial lawyers outspend Big Oil on political contributions. As I recall, trial lawyers are the #1 political contributor in the country. Suppose they're getting any bang for their buck?

TXduckdog
10-01-2009, 08:47 AM
It's true, both parties are guilty of jumping in bed with trial lawyers. That's sad.

But the party the trial lawyers support overwhelmingly with campaign contributions is the same party that promised and CAMPAIGNED ON change, accountability, transparency, NOT government as usual.....

mjh345
10-01-2009, 12:40 PM
In the past 10 years or so there have been significant victories and efforts at tort reform; both at the state and Federal level. To pretend this issue just appeared on the GOP's radar, or that they didn't do anything about tort reform during their tenure at the helm is as weak as trying to give the impression that Republicans are neck-deep in trial lawyer money, too. The Democrats get more trial laywer money than Republicans by a 4:1 margin (which is a huge disparity when you consider that most industry lobbies make an effort to spread the wealth a little more equitably). Speaking of 4:1...that's also the ratio that the trial lawyers outspend Big Oil on political contributions. As I recall, trial lawyers are the #1 political contributor in the country. Suppose they're getting any bang for their buck?

Care to support your statistics?

Hew
10-01-2009, 04:49 PM
Care to support your statistics?
Here's the stats on trial laywer political contributions: http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.php?ind=K01

Here's the stats on oil/gas contributions: http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.php?ind=E01

dnf777
10-01-2009, 05:46 PM
In the past 10 years or so there have been significant victories and efforts at tort reform; both at the state and Federal level. To pretend this issue just appeared on the GOP's radar, or that they didn't do anything about tort reform during their tenure at the helm is as weak as trying to give the impression that Republicans are neck-deep in trial lawyer money, too. The Democrats get more trial laywer money than Republicans by a 4:1 margin (which is a huge disparity when you consider that most industry lobbies make an effort to spread the wealth a little more equitably). Speaking of 4:1...that's also the ratio that the trial lawyers outspend Big Oil on political contributions. As I recall, trial lawyers are the #1 political contributor in the country. Suppose they're getting any bang for their buck?

What significant victories and efforts? I'm not saying dems aren't deeper in bed with lawyers, I just pointed out that with republicans in the whitehouse, house and senate, and a Surgeon majority leader, I expected better, but got next to nothing.

Hew
10-02-2009, 01:10 AM
What significant victories and efforts? I'm not saying dems aren't deeper in bed with lawyers, I just pointed out that with republicans in the whitehouse, house and senate, and a Surgeon majority leader, I expected better, but got next to nothing.
Most of the federal tort reform legislation that passed had to do with tort issues unrelated or not directly connected to the health industry...class action lawsuits, legal protections for volunteers and educators, protections for the telcoms against ambulance chasers over wiretapping, protections for gun/ammo makers, etc. Other legislation passed the House but stalled in the Senate. More significant gains were made at the state level as many states passed versions of tort reform. So there were gains and efforts...but even with control of the WH and Congress, it's hard to swim against the inertia and money of the biggest political contributors in Washington: trial lawyers.

Henry V
10-02-2009, 10:36 AM
....Most of the federal tort reform legislation that passed had to do with tort issues unrelated or not directly connected to the health industry...class action lawsuits, legal protections for volunteers and educators, protections for the telcoms against ambulance chasers over wiretapping, protections for gun/ammo makers, etc. Other legislation passed the House but stalled in the Senate. More significant gains were made at the state level as many states passed versions of tort reform. So there were gains and efforts...but even with control of the WH and Congress, it's hard to swim against the inertia and money of the biggest political contributors in Washington: trial lawyers.

Yes, there has been quite a bit of tort reform that mostly protects business and industry from customers and citizens over the years. Some probably needed and some a bit too much in favor of industry IMHO. Just as trial lawyers are generally against tort reform, most all industries want to be insulated from lawsuits and their lobbying efforts and dollars can be combined.

Regarding health care, it seems you are indicating that a state by state approach to tort reform is Ok since the repubs didn't get it done at the federal level during their 6 year reign. Isn't that exactly what President Obama proposed in his speech? A state by state approach to see what works best.

As has been asked here before, since tort reform has been done in several states, what are the results? Here is a good overview on the results of some studies http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/health/july-dec09/malpractice_09-25.html . A similar perspective is here http://health.blogs.foxnews.com/2009/08/26/tort-reform-and-medical-practice/ Mixed results on any cost savings.

I have no doubt that tort reform is needed regarding health care but the notion that some here have that it is the big answer to reduce costs is an overly simple point of view. The goal should be to stop frivolous suits which should reduce malpractice premiums and reduce the amount of defensive medicine.

Hew
10-02-2009, 10:41 AM
I have no doubt that tort reform is needed regarding health care but the notion that some here have that it is the big answer to reduce costs is an overly simple point of view. The goal should be to stop frivolous suits which should reduce malpractice premiums and reduce the amount of defensive medicine.
I agree completely.

Henry V
10-02-2009, 01:28 PM
I agree completely.
We better both write this day down. :)
Perhaps the end of days is near?

Hew
10-02-2009, 03:45 PM
We better both write this day down. :)
Perhaps the end of days is near?
That explains the four creepy guys grazing their horses on my front lawn this morning. ;-)