A Modest Proposal, 2009 Edition

posted at 10:11 am on July 16, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Ladies and gentlemen of the Hot Air community, I have discovered an unfair disparity in access to a vital resource based on the economic condition of the consumer.  This disparity is not just egregious, but it threatens the very core of our American way of life.  People routinely get denied adequate and competent service on the basis of their ability to pay, even though they have a right to it, while the rich eat up all the resources with their ability to access the best and brightest in the field.  And in the interest of fairness, the federal government needs to find a solution and impose it on the industry as a whole.

I refer, of course, to legal representation.

Oh, sure, in an emergency, the government will foot the bill for a public defender to represent the poor and indigent, but that’s hardly a comfort to those who needed a lawyer before getting into the emergency condition in the first place.  Besides, while we have many dedicated public defenders, it’s hardly a news flash that the wealthy can afford much better representation and have a much better chance of prevailing in court in criminal cases.  When the poor, working class, and middle class end up in that emergency situation, they can lose their homes and property to pay for decent legal care — and that shouldn’t happen in America, should it?

After all, unlike health care, Americans actually do have a Constitutional right to legal representation in court.  Some will scoff and say the lack of a lawyer, or a bad lawyer, can’t cause your death.  Those critics may want to talk with the inmates who got freed from Death Row and lifetime prison sentences after having mediocre attorneys lose cases when the defendant was really innocent.  Bad or nonexistent legal representation can take years off of your life, and can definitely get you killed.

Even beyond that, though, the wealthy and connected have access to a much wider range of legal services than even the middle class can afford.  Estate planning, trust funds, tax shelters — all of these can be expertly provided to those with the resources to afford them, while other Americans get second-class status in our legal system.  For those who aspire to egalitarianism of result, this arrangement should be such an affront that it demands real action — now.

I propose that the government impose a single-payer system on the legal profession.  Instead of charging private fees, all attorneys would have to send their bills to LegalCare, a new agency in the federal government.  Because the government can bargain collectively, they can impose rational fees for legal services instead of the exorbitant billing fees attorneys now charge. Three hundred dollars an hour?  Thing of the past.  Everyone knows that the government can control costs through price-setting;  now we can see this process applied to the legal system, where the government has a large interest in seeing cost savings.

How will we pay for LegalCare?  I take a page from the House surtax method here, which will disproportionately hit doctors in a wide variety of disciplines.  In this case, I propose a 5.4% surtax on lawyers, judges, lobbyists, and political officeholders at the state and federal level.  They’re the ones who have enriched themselves through this inequity in the legal system.  After all, why should we all have to pay for the single-payer legal system when we can penalize lawyers instead?

Now, this will have some impact on the legal-services market.  On the downside, we’ll have fewer attorneys.  Law schools will get a lot less competitive as students avoid the law and the limited amount of money available through LegalCare, and existing attorneys may leave the profession as well as they fail to make enough money from the price-controlled compensation they get from the government.  All this will mean longer wait times and rationing of services as people flood attorneys’ offices to demand services disconnected from the actual cost to provide them.  It may take a couple of years to get a will done, so start when you’re young.

On the plus side … we’ll have fewer attorneys.  And politicians!  Best of all, everyone will get the same level of legal care regardless of their ability to pay, thanks to LegalCare and the government-imposed rationing of a resource to which we have a right to access at any time we want, for any reason we want.

Addendum: In case anyone misses the point, this is a satire.  However, I wouldn’t put it past certain statists to consider this a pretty good idea…

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Now who in Congress will advance this initiative? Even without a prayer of passage, it would be dramatically instructive.

Indeed. Let’s see some brave soul read it on the floor.

Posted to facebook.

Bob's Kid on July 16, 2009 at 11:18 AM

In this case, I propose a 5.4% surtax on lawyers, judges, lobbyists, and political officeholders at the state and federal level.

Attorneys in N.C. actually have to contribute toward public campaign funding for state judicial elections. (You know, because the public at large has no stake in judges.)

Overall, your satire would have me rolling with laughter if I wasn’t shaking in apprehension that the trial lawyers are probably out to create just such a program.

cackcon on July 16, 2009 at 11:19 AM

Lawyers are a net drain of productivity on any society.

That is all.

jukin on July 16, 2009 at 11:19 AM

I am married to a hard-working, ethical attorney, who also is a former JAG.

So careful with the lawyer jokes.

BigD on July 16, 2009 at 11:20 AM

I can think of 535 reasons this would never see the light of day in Congress.

GarandFan on July 16, 2009 at 11:21 AM

Ed for Secretary of Dept of Legalcare

:-)

cmsinaz on July 16, 2009 at 11:23 AM

Ed, this is inspired.

Thanos on July 16, 2009 at 11:23 AM

Only in the age of Obama would you need to add the addendum, Ed. Unfortunately, I hope the libtards reading your post don’t pass it on to The One. It’s an idea I am sure he would embrace. Of course, POTUS, his family (and TOTUS, after the recent crash), and congress would be outside this system.

mwdiver on July 16, 2009 at 11:26 AM

The proposal seems fair in light of the fact that Obama’s health care proposal already presumes lawyers will be providing the rules for providing health care anyway. See this similarly-minded parody here: “Obama Plan Calls for Making Health Care System More Efficient by Having Trial Lawyers Provide Medical Services More Directly” http://optoons.blogspot.com/2009/06/obama-plan-calls-for-making-health-care.html

Mervis Winter on July 16, 2009 at 11:26 AM

My favorite way to see the foolishness in one idea is to take the idea and apply it to another, similar situation which would normally never be considered.

Nicely done Ed!
But I’m still not sure if I should laugh or cry at it.

DrAllecon on July 16, 2009 at 11:27 AM

It’s easy to be liberal when money is no longer a consideration.

Shock the Monkey on July 16, 2009 at 10:33 AM

It’s easy to be a liberal when it isn’t your money that is at stake.

MarkTheGreat on July 16, 2009 at 11:28 AM

Yep, Ed’s post is a natural for Sarah, Rush, Glenn. This post has LEGS.

petefrt on July 16, 2009 at 11:03 AM

So does Sarah. Rush, not so much.

MarkTheGreat on July 16, 2009 at 11:32 AM

If by this you mean that anyone without a lawyer will be fined, then I’m on board.

;-)

Blacksheep on July 16, 2009 at 11:32 AM

You know what else the Constitution gaurantees that is distributed inequitably? ARMS! (as in the bang! bang! kind)

I hear by propose the National Federal Firearm Equity and Accessibility Act of 2009!

Under my plan each and every citizen shall be required by law to posses a firearm and to regularly partake of range practice if not hunting. Those who decline to purchase a firearm will be subject to a surtax not to exceed 100% of their income. Those who cannot afford to purchase a firearm will be eligible to participate in the National Access to Guns (NAG) program, wherein handgun vouchers will be provided.

As this program may have a negative impact on the ability of criminals to earn a living wage we will also fund the Criminal Reeducation Under Duress (CRUD) program that will retrain them for careers as congressional aids.

dlc2 on July 16, 2009 at 11:37 AM

There could be an upside to this “satirical” proposal.

If the American Civil Liberties Anti-Christian Lawyers Union lawyers went broke through this proposal, they would leave us bitter religion-clingers in peace. My apologies to AllahPundit.

Steve Z on July 16, 2009 at 11:37 AM

Well-done, Ed!

For those who complain this isn’t fair, take heart!: Because you have chosen a profession of “public service” your college loans will be forgiven.

I am adding this to my all time list of favorite reads. The only other articles there are a nydaily news story on President Obama’s ‘magic beans’ and some stuff from Steyn.
BadgerHawk on July 16, 2009 at 10:48 AM

Thanks for the reminder – I loved that magic beans story. The original fairy tales cries out to be rewritten as Barack and the Magic Beanstalk.

Buy Danish on July 16, 2009 at 11:38 AM

Um, hey, why not?

Akzed on July 16, 2009 at 11:39 AM

Brilliant, Ed!

bluelightbrigade on July 16, 2009 at 11:39 AM

I agree. I’m in my mid 20′s, and I’ve never had to use the services of a lawyer for anything in my life yet. However, think of all the times a lawyer would have helped, but I didn’t know it?

What we need is preventive Lawyering. Every time I get a speeding ticket, or have a complaint about a bill I receive from a big, evil corporation, I should have access to a lawyer, and it should be affordable.

I have not done the numbers, but this might actually save money.

Johnson on July 16, 2009 at 11:40 AM

Now who in Congress will advance this initiative? Even without a prayer of passage, it would be dramatically instructive.

Indeed. Let’s see some brave soul read it on the floor.

Bob’s Kid on July 16, 2009 at 11:18 AM

I’d think anyone who opposes Obamacare could use it. (And anyone who supports Tort Reform too.)

Fringe benefit: It would have the trial lawyers quaking in their boots.

petefrt on July 16, 2009 at 11:41 AM

Under my plan each and every citizen shall be required by law to posses a firearm and to regularly partake of range practice if not hunting. Those who decline to purchase a firearm will be subject to a surtax not to exceed 100% of their income. Those who cannot afford to purchase a firearm will be eligible to participate in the National Access to Guns (NAG) program, wherein handgun vouchers will be provided.

Read this and this if you wanna see about guns being required!

Bob's Kid on July 16, 2009 at 11:47 AM

On the downside, we’ll have fewer attorneys.

This is a downside?

Buford on July 16, 2009 at 11:47 AM

actually, in Va., those charged with capital crime get the best lawyers in that field for their defense. or let me put it this way–they are offered (by the court) the best capital murder defense lawyers. some of these criminals are really stupid & they want their own lawyers who are out of their depth in this field.

kelley in virginia on July 16, 2009 at 11:49 AM

ha! my husband is former attorney. but we laugh at all lawyer jokes, so let’em rip!

kelley in virginia on July 16, 2009 at 11:50 AM

I am married to a hard-working, ethical attorney, who also is a former JAG.

So careful with the lawyer jokes.

BigD on July 16, 2009 at 11:20 AM

Lawyers are a necessity for the proper execution of contracts and criminal justice.

The complaint against lawyers, as far as I can tell, has always been the ones that game the legal system, bending the laws governing civil suits to enrich themselves (often by promising unearned riches to clients, but not always). Basically, you have good lawyers, who you have probably never met and are never famous, and you have bad lawyers, who are often famous, and you know by name either because they have been elected to office or your ex-spouse hired them.

Count to 10 on July 16, 2009 at 11:50 AM

and you have bad lawyers, who are often famous, and you know by name either because they have been elected to office or your ex-spouse hired them.

Count to 10 on July 16, 2009 at 11:50 AM

Or because they advertise on TV 3x per hour.

For example, just about anyone from a large city in Texas should remember the name Jim Adler.

Snowed In on July 16, 2009 at 11:53 AM

Or because they advertise on TV 3x per hour.

Snowed In on July 16, 2009 at 11:53 AM

Binder and Binder. “We’ll deal with the government; you have better things to worry about.”

BigD on July 16, 2009 at 11:55 AM

this is a satire

Yes, but a brilliant illustration of the DAISNAID hypocrisy of liberal politics. Two thumbs up.

infidel4life on July 16, 2009 at 11:58 AM

So if Bambi’s health care vision comes to pass, we’ll still have tort lawyers sailing around in yachts, because they made money off cases where clumsy people spill coffee in their laps. Tort lawyers work in a rigged profession, where our laws are used to maximize income for lawyers.

Meanwhile, surgeons who save hundreds if not thousands of lives due to years of perfecting a skill that actually benefits people, will get whatever some worthless idiot Senator, who never did a productiive day’s work in their lives (e.g. Ted Kennedy), will set their wages – low of course.

Surgeons with rowboats and lawyers with yachts. Is there anything wrong with this picture?

What we’ll end up with is more lawyers and less surgeons. Great idea, Democrats.

NoDonkey on July 16, 2009 at 12:03 PM

I propose that the government impose a single-payer system on the legal profession.

I’m with you Ed, but unlike cmsinaz, I would not relegate you to such a paltry position as “Secretary” (after all, even Hillary was able to gain that title). I think you should apply to be the full blown Czar of Legal Care.

katablog.com on July 16, 2009 at 12:07 PM

Ed for Secretary of Dept of Legalcare Czar

:-)

cmsinaz on July 16, 2009 at 11:23 AM

There … I fixed it.

August Horch on July 16, 2009 at 12:12 PM

As this program may have a negative impact on the ability of criminals to earn a living wage we will also fund the Criminal Reeducation Under Duress (CRUD) program that will retrain them for careers as congressional aids.

Wow, that sounds like a good program. I’m betting we can retrain this workforce in under a week. About the only program I can see they might need is: How to lie with a straight (and yes, Nancy, I’m talking about your botox) face.

katablog.com on July 16, 2009 at 12:13 PM

Tort lawyers work in a rigged profession, where our laws are used have been engineered from the get go to maximize income for lawyers.

NoDonkey on July 16, 2009 at 12:03 PM

FIFY. Many legislators are lawyers, so they make the self-serving laws. Judges are lawyers — they strike down the laws and ballot measures they don’t like. Result: A legal system of, by, and for the lawyers. Game, set, match.

infidel4life on July 16, 2009 at 12:14 PM

I agree. I’m in my mid 20’s, and I’ve never had to use the services of a lawyer for anything in my life yet.

When you do, you’ll see why we exist. Taxes, probate, patents, securities, etc., etc. We’re not all politicians and trial lawyers.

Blacksheep on July 16, 2009 at 12:15 PM

“For example, just about anyone from a large city in Texas should remember the name Jim Adler.” I had a call come to the house one day and it was Jim Adler on caller ID. Uh-oh, what did I do to get a call from the “Tough Smart Lawyer”tm. Turns out my kid was on the same baseball as his kid…whew!!!

Brilliant take Ed!

DanMan on July 16, 2009 at 12:16 PM

I realize this is satire but there is some truth in all satire. I am an accountant and have a couple of clients who have filed for bankruptcy. Even though they still owe be money for last years tax returns, they feel it is my duty to prepare this years returns so they can file on time. (sap that I am I am actually doing the work, but that’s my problem)

I am waiting for Obama to reach the same conclusion and start regulating my services. After all, all citizens must file tax returns so don’t they have the right to tax preparation services?

Ann on July 16, 2009 at 12:22 PM

We’d probably end up with a black market, you know, illegal immigrants from say Costa Rica with law degrees bought online willing to represent for a mere $50 an hour. Could be a good thing if you ever had to go up against a wise Latina judge.

Like the president they’d probably know law from having circumvented it.

Dr. ZhivBlago on July 16, 2009 at 12:32 PM

This is unquestionably fair. It will, of course, never happen because those statists are OVERWHELMINGLY lawyers.

JEM on July 16, 2009 at 12:33 PM

DanMan on July 16, 2009 at 12:16 PM

Were any suits filed if the team ever lost? :)

Snowed In on July 16, 2009 at 12:33 PM

You’re a genius, Ed! That’s brilliant.

beatcanvas on July 16, 2009 at 12:35 PM

Could be a good thing if you ever had to go up against a wise Latina judge.

I’ll need to do what Michael Jackson did to his skin except the other way and change my name to “Rodriguez”, to get a fair shake from a wise Latina judge.

NoDonkey on July 16, 2009 at 12:36 PM

Very well said & done, Ed. I’m sure Swift is chortling, whereever he may be.

I dare say, many other problems could be handled in this manner, so who will take these up as an agenda for their political platform? We know the masses don’t read or listen to their politicians, only to sound bites.

I’ll have to think on this more…this could be fun!

gobblemom on July 16, 2009 at 12:37 PM

However, I wouldn’t put it past certain statists to consider this a pretty good idea…

Satire?? Hell, I like it.

Of course, Congress would exempt themselves from it like they have in the healthcare bill.

BacaDog on July 16, 2009 at 12:38 PM

I appreciate the satire. Quite frankly I have always felt that people like my parents (lower middle class) get screwed because they cannot afford a lawyer and they are not indigent enough for legal aid. It is my goal (once I get financially able to work without getting paid) to devote my time to this oft overlooked group of people who just pay their taxes and never get anything in return.

HawaiiLwyr on July 16, 2009 at 12:42 PM

It won’t pass, because Obama believes in a lawyer’s right to get rich and suck the life out of anything productive.

tommuck on July 16, 2009 at 12:45 PM

ED:

Can we add a 10% surtax (in addition to everything else) on any attorney member of the ACLU or who specializes in Trial law???

Best piece of satire I’ve read in a LONG while – make sure to send it to Iowahawk!

FloridaBill on July 16, 2009 at 12:49 PM

However, I wouldn’t put it past certain statists to consider this a pretty good idea…

Not so long as lawyers vote Dem and contribute tons of money to Dem campaigns.

Esthier on July 16, 2009 at 12:51 PM

Brilliance Cap’n Ed, sheer brilliance…

I wonder if it can be attached to the Obamacare bill before the final vote?

RocketmanBob on July 16, 2009 at 12:51 PM

Very nice. Humor is so good at getting the point across without being “strident.” Also a good tool for effective politicians.

Hey, are you running for anything Ed?

(j/k)

cs89 on July 16, 2009 at 12:53 PM

I’m all for it.

PersonalLiberty on July 16, 2009 at 12:54 PM

Lawyers are the high priests of the liberal church, there is no possible way they will ever be subject to the sort of policies that govern less holy professions.

Because whatever would we do without lawyers?

Besides prosper, I mean.

NoDonkey on July 16, 2009 at 12:56 PM

I’m a law student, and I approve this message.

JohnJ on July 16, 2009 at 12:56 PM

August Horch on July 16, 2009 at 12:12 PM

appreciate it :-)

cmsinaz on July 16, 2009 at 1:00 PM

Bravo, Ed. Very creative.

I just have to know one thing. Did you feel just like little Ralpie – in the movie A Christmas Story – while he was writing his theme paper? I have to believe that at some point while you were typing, you exclaimed out loud, “This is a masterpiece!” Well done.

ReagansRight on July 16, 2009 at 1:07 PM

One might argue, however, that once the ObamaNation comes to full flower, lawyers no longer will be necessary.

Contracts no longer will be needed nor will they be enforceable. Ask the GM bondholders how their contracts worked out for them.

Personal injury and medical malpractice cases will be a thing of the past since there will be very little personal wealth to go after in such instances. What’s more, since the government will be providing all health care, no suits can be brought against it without it’s specific permission.

Wills, estate planning, and probate will be a thing of the past since private wealth will be virtually nonexistent and all capital will now be owned/controlled by the estate.

Even antitrust cases are gone. The government certainly wouldn’t want to be suing itself.

Criminal cases? Oh, well, maybe we’ll still need a couple of thousand or so lawyers… to represent the terrorists, of course.

So, to my fellow attorneys out there, how’s all that hope and change gonna work out for you?

TXUS on July 16, 2009 at 1:29 PM

Ed’s proposal fits nicely with this article written by some schmuck named Benjamin Franklin. In the article one of Ben’s points if you are going to go down a path to help the poor through the government, go ALL THE WAY. Great article referred to my by a HotAir commentator many months ago.

WashJeff on July 16, 2009 at 1:38 PM

Ed has a good idea, but why stop there? Let’s apply his method to other boneheaded Obama-Pelosi-Reid legislation. How about Cap and Trade? For the good of the planet we cap our production of lawyers, trading the excess to various third world countries with a shortage of skilled legal professionals.

jwolf on July 16, 2009 at 1:39 PM

Ed, John Swift you aren’t (I think the main difference is not even the statists would ever think eating babies was reasonable), but you are funny!

darii on July 16, 2009 at 1:41 PM

Outstanding piece of satire,Ed.It would be interesting to watch all the trial lawyers in congress’ reaction if sombody actually proposed such a plan.

DDT on July 16, 2009 at 1:51 PM

You know what else the Constitution gaurantees that is distributed inequitably? ARMS! (as in the bang! bang! kind)

I hear by propose the National Federal Firearm Equity and Accessibility Act of 2009!

dlc2 on July 16, 2009 at 11:37 AM

Now that’s a ‘public access program’ that I can agree with.

Chaz706 on July 16, 2009 at 2:03 PM

woo hoo! Rush on this right now!

JamesLee on July 16, 2009 at 2:12 PM

El Rushbo’s got it!

petefrt on July 16, 2009 at 2:13 PM

Beaten to it.

Rush just gave you props.

chsw

chsw on July 16, 2009 at 2:14 PM

Shout out from Rush. Congrats Ed. Tell the boss you deserve a raise.

txsurveyor on July 16, 2009 at 2:15 PM

The more I think about it the more I come to the conclusion that this is a seriously brilliant piece of satire. It would not surprise me one bit to hear Rush read this on his show.

BadgerHawk on July 16, 2009 at 10:48 AM

Giggity.

BadgerHawk on July 16, 2009 at 2:18 PM

Ha! Rush is talking about mom jeans now. Good day for HotAir.

BadgerHawk on July 16, 2009 at 2:45 PM

A good idea, but not as good as, “kill all the lawyers.”

burt on July 16, 2009 at 2:46 PM

Finally, Change We Can Believe In!

malclave on July 16, 2009 at 2:49 PM

Rove Ed you magnificent bastard!

sleepy-beans on July 16, 2009 at 3:19 PM

Ed, great satire! Between Rush giving you cudoes and CNN mentioning Allah’s Mom jeans comment, I’d take Rush’s endorsement. I swear he does his show prep on Hot Air!

And for the GOOD lawyers out there, why don’t you raise your respectability with the rest of the country and push internally for tort reform! If lawyers would take the lead here, we would all save a bundle in medical insurance and would stand even stronger against Obamacare!

Christian Conservative on July 16, 2009 at 4:06 PM

There’s a better case for “free” legal aid than there is for “free” health care – neither of which I would support in reality, but for the sake of argument, here goes:

Consider my own situation. I was professionally employed in a field that I had worked in for ~15~ or so years. I had a good salary, health benefits, 401k, stock options, and both long and short term disability insurance. The benefits, as we all know, were part of my compensation package, therefore, I was paying for them out of my own pocket in the same sense that I made car payments or paid the bill at a restaurant.

I became disabled six years ago. I suffered increasing, chronic, pain, following several abdominal surgeries, and was prescribed medication for that pain that would have, alone, rendered me unable to do my job. In addition, I had been diagnosed in the previous year (finally!) with Narcolepsy, which I had almost certainly been suffering from since my mid teens (I think I was 38 at diagnosis). I was taking medications for the Narco to keep me awake, but the pain meds were working against them. In short, after a healthy and productive life, I was suddenly disabled.

I’d been living with undiagnosed Narcolepsy for 20+ years, getting by on coffee, cigarettes, and jabbing myself in the leg with my mechanical pencils during meetings. That alone should demonstrate my work ethic and endurance. (If you don’t know anything about Narcolepsy that you haven’t picked up from movies and TV, you don’t know anything about Narcolepsy. The most common illustration used is to imagine yourself doing ordinary tasks after being awake for 72 hours straight – every day of your life.) I’d started experiencing some of the aches and pains of aging, had chondromalacia in both knees, that my doctor attributed to my constant bike riding(?), and had some neck problems that might have been due to a car accident (hit by a drunk driver, a wine rep on company time, and didn’t have the sense to get a shyster doc/lawyer combo to hook me up for life). All those things were an annoyance, but I was a very independent person, so I ignored them and kept doing my job.

My company was privately insured, but used an insurance company to evaluate claims, and it turns out that they used one that was in the top five for “bad faith” claims. I was in touch with the human resources department, my manager, and the claims person constantly, so they knew that I was at the Mayo Clinic, on my own dime, seeking a diagnosis and treatment, on the day that they denied my claim, fired me, and cut off my health insurance.

My only option was to take them to court, but disability insurers have a strange legal protection. It wasn’t enough to prove that I was actually disabled, backed up by my doctor’s opinion and documentation. I would have to prove that the claim denial was “arbitrary and capricious”. In other words, I’d have to prove the claim adjuster’s *motivation*, rather than my own physical condition.

They were all pushing me toward Social Security from the very beginning, and I finally had to give in and go through the government meat grinder, which has become so screwed up that I only just won my appeal in court and am still waiting for a damn check. Six years later.

I didn’t want to be on the government dole. I’ve worked and saved my whole life so I could take care of myself and never dreamed that I’d be one of those bottom feeders, but the whole system is designed to push people into that corner; even if I’d been able to afford a lawyer, the law was stacked against me. My so-called disability insurance was useless paper, by design, and all of my efforts to do the right and responsible things were invested in a sham. I’d had the nerve to feel superior to people who had, in my former opinion, been the victims of their own poor planning. I bet that a lot of you here feel that too. I hope you never find out the truth about your own security nets – at least, not the way that I did.

I’m not, in any shape or form, stumping for government care. I’m pissed that I never knew, or fought, a system that was set up to push me into SSDI, by making the legal recourse against bad faith claims so convoluted and out of reach for people already struggling just to get dressed by themselves, let alone fight long, expensive, legal battles. I dream of suing their asses off, and winning the money that’s rightfully mine, and I’m a serious grudge holding, tilting at windmills, fight the power sort of person. At least, I was, but they wore me down when I was at my weakest, and I’m looking forward to government checks and the wonders of Medicare. Yay.

ral514 on July 16, 2009 at 4:22 PM

I second that!

Terrye on July 16, 2009 at 5:09 PM

This is excellent satire, and makes the point very well.

But, after looking at some of the comments, I have to stand up for my noble profession! As I like to tell my friends and relatives, the problem is that 99% of lawyers give the other 1% of us a bad name. ;)

acasilaco on July 16, 2009 at 8:09 PM

…the National Federal Obligatory Firearm Equity and Accessibility Requirement (NOFEAR) Act of 2009!

dlc2 on July 16, 2009 at 11:37 AM

FIFY.

Mary in LA on July 16, 2009 at 8:18 PM

Binder and Binder. “We’ll deal with the government; you have better things to worry about.”

Oh, if only they would! Swiftly and permanently.

drunyan8315 on July 17, 2009 at 10:41 AM

Well, since they’re not bothering to read the legislation we’re voting on, someone just needs to sneak this into something innocuous that’s currently on the agenda (not one of the big monstrosities).

No one reads it, it passes with flying colors, voila!

VekTor on July 17, 2009 at 6:40 PM

“we’re voting on” should be “they’re voting on”.

If we were voting on it, we’d actually read it.

VekTor on July 17, 2009 at 6:40 PM

I would like to clarify, in case it sounded like my anger is directed at “Binder and Binder” (I used a firm that’s almost as well known for SSDI appeals, but from a personal recommendation), my lawyer earned her money, and my gratitude. My quarrel is with the fact that my rights are only mine if I can afford a lawyer to demand them. If I have to buy my “rights”, then we’re using the wrong word. Conservatives often complain about businesses being hurt by excessive punitive damages, but when we eliminate the possibility of punishing those who use our unwieldy legal system to their advantage, what stops them from continuing the practice?

Insurance companies rely on the cost of litigation to discourage people from winning rightful claims, or, as in my case, the company I worked for hired an insurance company for their expertise in avoiding payouts in order to rip off their own employees. Okay, nice work if you can get it, but there’s got to be a level in Hell reserved for those who deliberately take advantage of people at their most vulnerable; sick, tired, in pain, and then further hobbled by the loss of a paycheck, and, so much worse, the loss of their health insurance, at the time that they need it most! Any chance I had of finding a path back to productivity disappeared the moment they fired me. I had to leave Mayo before all of my appointments were completed (including the final one, in which all of the results are compiled and examined together, which is the whole point of what Mayo does), so I left with one diagnosis that helped a lot, but no coordination to help me to know what to do about it. I ended up in physical therapy that was completely wrong for my condition, which worsened it, no continuation of the meds they’d started me on, because I didn’t have a doctor that understood what was required, and it took me a couple of years of research and questioning to finally find a doctor that *did* know how to treat me. By that time, inactivity and pain had taken their toll on me, and I’m still fighting to recover from something that was completely avoidable.

Do I want free “Legal Care” so I can sue the hell out every asshole that was part of the process of cheating me out of what was rightfully mine? Do I want a “Free Lawyer” to get me compensation for everything I’ve lost in the last six years? Hell yes! My beloved bike is on my back porch. I keep the tires inflated, the lock on it, and the key on my key chain, and I have dreams about flying down the road on a warm rainy day, going nowhere in particular. I haven’t been able to ride it in all this time, and I’m very, very angry.

I’m not angry enough to punish the entire country with another entitlement program. Yes, I’ve read Swift, and I know that Ed is no more proposing this as a real solution than he would recommend his favorite recipe for Roasted O’Toole Progeny On Rice Pilaf, but I wanted to make very clear that the purpose of my little story is not to make an argument for government Legalcare, anymore than I would gobble up the O’Toole children, succulent though they may be. My point is that, if I’m not willing to hamstring the greatest country that the world has ever known in order to satisfy my personal grudges, why are so many other people so willing to do it for other reasons? Yes, I could have used “free” healthcare in the last few years, and I was damn lucky to have married a good man before all of this happened – a good man who has been more burdened by my circumstances than I have – who made sure that I never went without medications or other care, no matter how tight our money got, and it got damned tight.

But what kind of healthcare would it have been? I doubt that Uro-Gynecology will be a booming specialty under OCare. I doubt that Stanford will have the budget to continue their – remarkable – research into Narcolepsy. Think Mayo will become a really great free clinic? I doubt that too. The fact is, the kind of medicine that has been most instrumental in keeping me from stepping off of a cliff these last years, is exactly the kind that we’ll lose. I’ve become the master of PubMed, and the studies I’ve found there, to help myself, have been the discoveries that are new; promising, but not yet “proven”. The first thing I plan to buy when my money comes is a dose of Botox, the latest, experimental, treatment for intractable muscle spasm. Will it still be available for pain treatment under OCare? (maybe I can get it from the Pelosi Black Market?)
I’m betting that keeping me pumped up with opiates, provided by the annexed Afghan poppy fields, will be the less expensive, “proven effective” treatment. My life will suck, but it won’t cost me anything to keep living it, in a morphine fog.

I hate them for this. Such short-sighted, wasteful, evil people.

ral514 on July 17, 2009 at 8:41 PM

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