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Saturday, October 31, 2009



I am a physician. This makes me so mad I can not stand it. This is insulting. Not a single one of my colleagues agrees with this madness. Make no mistake, we will be heard at the polling booth.


With all due respect ChristopherMD, you apparently refer to colleagues within your own clinic or circle of friends. I know at least one doctor who is four-square in favor of health reform similar to what is being proposed and bristles at the prospect of reform that does not include a strong public option. Polling of physicians shows he is far from alone. Which is to say that from strictly a vote-garnering aspect, there may be little for politicians to gain from Doctors no matter how they vote on this issue.

George Mason

A.I. you may be talking to too many like minded people and reading only the WH polls. Doctors in private practice (especially those who handle Medicare and Medicaid patients) as Christopher obviously is, will tell you that the paperwork
requirements will take up more time than tending to patients. This is currently
the reason so many doctors are refusing to take Medicare patients or simply
getting out of medicine. When Obama has turned all the doctors into bureaucrats
who will be left to see the sick and injured. If you get the chance you should sit down with your doctor and ask him what is entailed in dealing with Medicare and Medicaid patients.Then you can extrapolate that to what it will be when all of us are in that system. While you are at it ask him what he paid last year for malpractice insurance and what his deductable is. Then ask him if he will be
willing to stay in medicine when most of his day will be consumed by paperwork and he still has a 25% chance of being sued every year. Then buy him a beer and wish him well for me. Good luck finding a doctor under Obamacare.


Costs associated with med-mal are about 0.5% of the cost of health care. http://factcheck.org/2009/10/malpractice-savings-...

I argue that the cost is justified - it goes toward compensating victims of medical negligence. So yes, this provision is a gift to the trial lawyers but it is also a crucial right for patients.

Tort reform is a gift to insurance companies and HMO's specifically. In a world with no liability for medical errors, HMO bureaucrats can "manage" the care of the Physicians with impunity.

Imposing a cost on negligent medical decisions creates an incentive to place ultimate decision making responsibility with Doctors, because Doctors are best qualified to make those decisions. As a patient, that's the way I want it.

It is stunning how many people have swallowed the Chamber of Commerce lies on Tort Reform. Wake up people, you are not a HMO - you are a patient; you are a plaintiff. Support your interests, support your rights. Demand a system that holds decision makers responsible and support Section 2531.

George Mason

Unfortunately Will the figure you site is the lawyers favorite because it only covers litigation. It does not take into account the costs passed on to the consumer due to malpractice insurance for doctors, liability insurance for
clinics, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, the manufacturers of medical
devices and equipment. These costs are huge enough. Then you have to add in the
costs of defensive medicine. The Pacific Research Institute calculates these costs to be $242Billion per year. So I would make the same suggestion to you that was made to A.I. Make sure that when you start quoting numbers you add in all the relevant numbers. If you had ever owned or managed a business you would have better appreciation for the costs the threat of liability imposes. If you were truly concerned about patients instead of protecting contingency fees you would make close scrutiny of the states where it is hard to obtain the services of certain specialists because the legal profession has found juries easy to shop for. People in Florida for instance may have to travel some distance to find the services of an OB-GYN for this reason. Doctors are going to leave states where the potential for litigation is high (and the ability to obtain malpractice insurance is low). This is another cost you can add in. It is obviously difficult to quantify but it is there. The American legal profession may be the single greatest internal threat to our freedoms and economic well being. Unfortunately the only check on there ability to work mischief are the state legislatures and congress, and they are dominated by lawyers.

George Mason

InRe the earlier post: As fate would have it Investors Business Daily has an editorial by Thomas Sowell, an Economist at Stanford concerning this topic.:


This is a nice concise read.


I'm with George Mason on this one. The cost of medical malpractice law in this country are enormous and far reaching. But the larger problem is that for every fifty billion or so that we spend on something, there is a argument like the one that will made for tort lawyers. The only way to control costs is to say "yeah, but no" to some of these arguments. Congress isn't good at that.


Healthcare is so important and so many people are forced to do without it. Not everyone can afford expensive health plans, and even when they can they are almost always getting cheated with the expensive premiums. I just finished up a lawsuit with my medical provider which turned out was the fault of my premium health insurance. Please if you have problems and seek advice talk to an attorney.


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