Tort reform? Try tort expansion

posted at 5:59 pm on September 11, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama offered this wan “olich branch” to Republicans during his health-care overhaul speech to the joint session of Congress on Wednesday. After spending most of the speech deriding his opposition, Obama finally got to the subject of tort reform, which the White House had promised Obama would pursue in his speech to get Republicans on board. Here is how enthusiastic Obama was for the idea:

Finally, many in this chamber – particularly on the Republican side of the aisle – have long insisted that reforming our medical malpractice laws can help bring down the cost of healthcare. I don’t believe malpractice reform is a silver bullet, but I have talked to enough doctors to know that defensive medicine may be contributing to unnecessary costs.

So I am proposing that we move forward on a range of ideas about how to put patient safety first and let doctors focus on practicing medicine. I know that the Bush administration considered authorizing demonstration projects in individual states to test these issues. It’s a good idea, and I am directing my Secretary of Health and Human Services to move forward on this initiative today.

First, there are already plenty of studies showing that malpractice abuse comprises anywhere between 2% and 10% of all medical costs today. For a $2 trillion a year industry, even the low end would mean $40 billion a year in cost savings, and $400 billion over the ten-year period that Obama uses as his scale. That’s five times what Obama got the pharmaceuticals to concede in order to bring ObamaCare’s costs down, in comparison. The question here should be why the pharmaceuticals had to knuckle under to the White House while the trial lawyers get off scot-free.

As Kimberly Strassel notes in the Wall Street Journal today, the answer is — because Congress wants to make it even easier for lawyers to exploit malpractice claims, and in new and dangerous ways:

During the markup of a bill in the Senate Health Committee, Republicans offered 11 tort amendments that varied in degree from mere pilot projects to measures to ensure more rural obstetricians. On a party line vote, Democrats killed every one. Rhode Island senator and lawyer Sheldon Whitehouse went so far as to speechify on the virtues of his tort friends. He did not, of course, mention the nearly $900,000 they have given him since 2005, including campaign contributions from national tort powerhouses like Baron & Budd and Motley Rice.

Even Senate Finance Chair Max Baucus, of bipartisan bent, has bowed to legal powers. The past two years, Mr. Baucus has teamed up with Wyoming Republican Mike Enzi to offer legislation for modest health-care tort reform in states. That Enzi-Baucus proposal had been part of the bipartisan health-care talks. When Mr. Baucus released his draft health legislation this weekend, he’d stripped out his own legal reforms. The Montanan is already in the doghouse with party liberals, and decided not to further irk leadership’s Dick Durbin ($3.6 million in lawyer contributions), the Senate’s patron saint of the trial bar.

Over in the House the discussion isn’t about tort reform, but about tort opportunities. During the House Ways & Means markup of a health bill, Texas Democrat Lloyd Doggett ($1.5 million from lawyers) introduced language to allow freelance lawyers to sue any outfit (say, McDonald’s) that might contribute to Medicare costs. Only after Blue Dogs freaked out did the idea get dropped, though the trial bar has standing orders that Democrats make another run at it in any House-Senate conference.

It says everything that Mr. Obama wouldn’t plump for reform as part of legislation. The president knows the Senate would never have passed it in any event. Yet even proposing it was too much for the White House’s legal lobby. Mr. Obama is instead directing his secretary of health and human services to move forward on test projects. That would be Kathleen Sebelius, who spent eight years as the head of the Kansas Trial Lawyers Association.

How likely will a positive report come from tort-reform pilot projects run by the former executive director of a state TLA? About as likely as getting Democrats to vote to impose them even if they do succeed. It’s not just because the trial lawyers provides tons of cash to Democrats, although that’s certainly true. Trial lawyers afflict the very entities that the liberal wing of the Democratic Party likes to demonize — the rich, corporations, the rich, doctors (remember Tonsil Vultures and Foot Rustlers?), the rich, etc. It’s an ideological as well as financial marriage.

Obama’s not involved in writing the legislation anyway. He’s made himself irrelevant enough that he can toss in a couple of lines about the subject without having it change the situation one iota. But even if was involved in it, Obama has been pretty clear about his opposition to tort reform — as he was just three months ago when he spoke to the AMA:

Now, I recognize that it will be hard to make some of these changes if doctors feel like they’re constantly looking over their shoulders for fear of lawsuits. I recognize that. (Applause.) Don’t get too excited yet. Now, I understand some doctors may feel the need to order more tests and treatments to avoid being legally vulnerable. That’s a real issue. (Applause.) Now, just hold on to your horses here, guys. (Laughter.) I want to be honest with you. I’m not advocating caps on malpractice awards — (boos from some in audience) — (laughter) — which I personally believe can be unfair to people who’ve been wrongfully harmed.

So what was his solution to high malpractice abuse costs? In effect, he said that doctors need more schooling:

But I do think we need to explore a range of ideas about how to put patient safety first; how to let doctors focus on practicing medicine; how to encourage broader use of evidence-based guidelines. I want to work with the AMA so we can scale back the excessive defensive medicine that reinforces our current system, and shift to a system where we are providing better care, simply — rather than simply more treatment.

If doctors just listened to those government panels on comparative effectiveness that ObamaCare creates and stop putting patient safety somewhere south of “first,” they wouldn’t have anything to worry about! I’m surprised the AMA didn’t boo him off the stage for that remark.

Don’t expect tort reform from this administration. Tort expansion is much more likely.


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And what shall his title be?

The Great Deceiver.

CPT. Charles on September 11, 2009 at 6:03 PM

I’ll believe it when I see it.

ctmom on September 11, 2009 at 6:03 PM

Tart expansion? Does everything have o be about ACORN?

faraway on September 11, 2009 at 6:04 PM

I hate this administration and this Congress with the heat of a nova.

myrenovations on September 11, 2009 at 6:05 PM

Don’t expect tort reform from this administration. Tort expansion is much more likely.

exactly right, Ed; exactly right.

deidre on September 11, 2009 at 6:06 PM

Jesus Christ, that’s it, he just admitted it. Either follow the guidelines set down by my panel or be faced with lawsuits as your non-approved procedures will be prima facie malpractice. Enjoy the poorhouse, suckers.

joeindc44 on September 11, 2009 at 6:06 PM

Let’s give the Trial Bar a direct way into the pocket of Fedzilla

phreshone on September 11, 2009 at 6:07 PM

Caps on malpractice awards are not the answer. Those still do not prevent suits and do not give doctors less of an incentive to order unnecessary defensive tests and procedures, they just reduce their insurance premiums a little.

What is needed is:

–A “loser pays” tort system for medical injuries

–The right of doctors and patients to execute waivers before routine non-emergency treatment guaranteeing no lawsuit.

–Any insurance reform should include the ability to sell a “no-tort” health insurance policy at much lower cost, under which the policyholder agrees not to sue the doctor or hospital or drug company.

Let the market work and allow patients to discover the true cost of medical litigation. If patients want to participate in a malpractice lottery so that they might get luck and win a million dollars, they should have to pay much higher prices for the insurance and care.

rockmom on September 11, 2009 at 6:08 PM

Nice work, Ed. That’s exactly what it’ll be…expansion. What were those campaign contribution figures from the trial lawyers again???

Catherine Wilkinson on September 11, 2009 at 6:08 PM

Wow, how are we ever going to counter this kind of crap? I am getting so sick of daily stories of leftist czars, fruit cake advisers, and a lying President.It is so frustrating that we can’t seem to do anything about it. I know tea parties and marches are a good start, but how are we going to take them on? Sorry for the rant, I think it is probably the day that has brought me down.

sandee on September 11, 2009 at 6:09 PM

Sarah Palin AKA ca2

sonnyspats1 on September 11, 2009 at 6:09 PM

Trail lawyers own the democrat party, as DNC chairman Howard Dean said.

Rebar on September 11, 2009 at 6:10 PM

Jesus Christ, that’s it, he just admitted it. Either follow the guidelines set down by my panel or be faced with lawsuits as your non-approved procedures will be prima facie malpractice. Enjoy the poorhouse, suckers.

joeindc44 on September 11, 2009 at 6:06 PM

++

the_nile on September 11, 2009 at 6:10 PM

Lawyers are the only group who truly prosper under a democrat administration.

Hellrider on September 11, 2009 at 6:11 PM

Don Henley was right: Let’s kill all the lawyers, kill ‘em tonight.

infidel4life on September 11, 2009 at 6:12 PM

Anybody that really believes Obama will do anything that could be the least bit uncomfortable for trial lawyers are out of their minds. This guy will say anything but you should believe nothing he says.

rplat on September 11, 2009 at 6:12 PM

–Any insurance reform should include the ability to sell a “no-tort” health insurance policy at much lower cost, under which the policyholder agrees not to sue the doctor or hospital or drug company.

rockmom on September 11, 2009 at 6:08 PM

I like this idea. The Libs will scream about “the ghettoization of health insurance” but they’ll scream no matter what. Another idea I’ve seen that goes beyond just malpractice is to make punitive damages payable to the jurisdiction and not the plaintiff, as if it were a fine.

trubble on September 11, 2009 at 6:13 PM

Obama is a hopeless case. He talks and talks and really has no idea what’s really going on. He’s become or always was a ‘sounds good–lets try this and see how it flies’–he doesn’t bother to research anything or become familiar with any issue because either he’s too lazy or he sees his role as salesman rather than CEO or both. He is, frankly, a man I wouldn’t trust to decide whether is was raining or not. Prefer a take charge Prez and this guy falls far short of the mark.

jeanie on September 11, 2009 at 6:13 PM

I wish Sarah would give a stinking interview about this. She knows a little about being charged with ridiculous ethic complaints.

deidre on September 11, 2009 at 6:15 PM

I usually don’t comment here, but I’m a big free market advocate. Tort reform would actually be a bad thing in a free market. It would be one of the major checks on malpractice along with insurance companies and media. It’s absurd to act like gov’t would be a better check on malpractice. Torts are a perfectly good way to limit malpractice and serve as a disincentive against it. It’s not tort reform that’s the problem. It’s lawyers’ influence with gov’t, giving them virtually monopoly status. Tort reform wouldn’t be much of a problem if we had a free market and broke up the AMA’s monopolistic hold on the medical market, so to speak. If we could do that, prices would drop de facto. We’re barking up the wrong tree here. End tax oppression first is what I say.

Soonerliberty on September 11, 2009 at 6:15 PM

OT……Breaking NEWS…….

The Census Bureau has cut all ties to ACORN.

Knucklehead on September 11, 2009 at 6:16 PM

As unemployment and home foreclosures and mortgage defaults grow, these polticized buffoons, from the Delusionist-In-Chief on down, worry about something low the list of vital priorities for the national security and stability of our Republic like Health Insurance Coverage Reform.

Bass-frikkin-ackwards!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

profitsbeard on September 11, 2009 at 6:17 PM

I’m surprised the AMA didn’t boo him off the stage for that remark.

Collectively, they should have all said in one voice.

YOU LIE</strong>

Kini on September 11, 2009 at 6:17 PM

Tort reform or any attempt thereof will certainly not happen with this administration. No way.

RedbonePro on September 11, 2009 at 6:19 PM

Bret Baier (Fox News) is just reporting that the Census Department has cut all ties with ACORN including preparation for or execution of the Census.

sherryande on September 11, 2009 at 6:19 PM

I know that the Bush administration considered authorizing demonstration projects in individual states to test these issues. It’s a good idea….

After 7 months, 2 weeks, 5 days Obama offers a compliment to President Bush. How many people had the Under bet?

Mallard T. Drake on September 11, 2009 at 6:20 PM

Someone please share with me a story of a conservative who shrugged his shoulders and said, “Oh well, that’s why they put erasers on pencils” when a medical mistake killed or maimed a loved one.

Anyone?

Anyone?

Everyone wants “tort reform” until a loved one is a victim of malpractice.

bschmalfeldt on September 11, 2009 at 6:20 PM

OT……Breaking NEWS…….

The Census Bureau has cut all ties to ACORN.

Knucklehead on September 11, 2009 at 6:16 PM

Please provide a link.

fbcmusicman on September 11, 2009 at 6:21 PM

And what shall his title be?

The Great Deceiver.

CPT. Charles on September 11, 2009 at 6:03 PM

Doctor obama.

Johan Klaus on September 11, 2009 at 6:22 PM

–A “loser pays” tort system for medical injuries

rockmom on September 11, 2009 at 6:08 PM

And require the idiot judges who allow frivolous bullsh!t lawsuits to go forward in their courtrooms pay a chunk of that as well.

infidel4life on September 11, 2009 at 6:23 PM

Ed and/or Allah:

Any chance we’re gonna get a special 9/12 thread as a place to channel reports and communiques from and to HA members attending the DC event and others throughout the land?

I know a number of requests have been made for same, but no one has heard back, far as I know.

Thanks.

TXUS on September 11, 2009 at 6:23 PM

There’s no link yet – Major Garrett is supposedly on the story and more to come……..

sherryande on September 11, 2009 at 6:23 PM

Please provide a link.

fbcmusicman on September 11, 2009 at 6:21 PM

No link yet, Fox just reported it 5 minutes ago.

Knucklehead on September 11, 2009 at 6:24 PM

Everyone wants “tort reform” until a loved one is a victim of malpractice.

bschmalfeldt on September 11, 2009 at 6:20 PM

Tort reform does not take away one’s ability to sue for malpractice.

ICBM on September 11, 2009 at 6:25 PM

Maybe the reason for all the czars is so that obama doesn’t have to think about or learn about anything. The lackeys do all the work and send him a memo–preferably a short memo so that his free time will not be frittered away with doing his job.

jeanie on September 11, 2009 at 6:25 PM

Everyone wants “tort reform” until a loved one is a victim of malpractice.

bschmalfeldt on September 11, 2009 at 6:20 PM

It’s called frivolous lawsuits. That’s what’s needed in Tort reform. Besides tort reform, Doctors that lose their licenses in one State should not be allowed to start another practice in another State.

It’s not about denying the right to sue, its about the validity of the suit.

Kini on September 11, 2009 at 6:26 PM

bschmalfeldt on September 11, 2009 at 6:20 PM

Use your brain. Sensible tort reform wouldn’t prevent all malpractice suits, it would reduce the frivolous ones.

infidel4life on September 11, 2009 at 6:26 PM

rockmom on September 11, 2009 at 6:08 PM

You nasty, free-market capitalist!

I like it…

karl9000 on September 11, 2009 at 6:28 PM

***

–The right of doctors and patients to execute waivers before routine non-emergency treatment guaranteeing no lawsuit.

***

rockmom on September 11, 2009 at 6:08 PM

I don’t disagree with you on much, but this, IMO, is not appropriate. Professional service providers (doctors, lawyers) in specialized areas shouldn’t be able to contract for their own exoneration. Sure, doctors can to some extent rely on informed consent for surgery and risky procedures, but contracting away causes of action for negligence and worse doesn’t seem appropriate.

I might add a plug for special courts staffed by judges with expertise in these kinds of case. We might even consider limiting these cases to bench trials and eliminating jury trials.

BuckeyeSam on September 11, 2009 at 6:28 PM

Everyone wants “tort reform” until a loved one is a victim of malpractice.

bschmalfeldt on September 11, 2009 at 6:20 PM

There is a risk with most medical procedures. Yes, doctors sometimes make mistakes and when that happens, there should restitution. Many people want no risk medical procedures when, at the present, it is just not possible.

Johan Klaus on September 11, 2009 at 6:30 PM

Major Garrett on twitter……

Breaking: Census director tells ACORN in letter all ties to group being severed for data collection as part of 2010 census.

http://twitter.com/MajoratWH/statuses/3920902185

sherryande on September 11, 2009 at 6:31 PM

Tort reform does not take away one’s ability to sue for malpractice.

ICBM on September 11, 2009 at 6:25 PM

Exactly. It’s an attempt to rein in jackpot justice. I say make economic and medical care recoveries generous, allow punitives in egregious cases, but limit the “pain and suffering” and other non-economic awards.

BuckeyeSam on September 11, 2009 at 6:32 PM

Please provide a link.

fbcmusicman on September 11, 2009 at 6:21 PM
No link yet, Fox just reported it 5 minutes ago.

Knucklehead on September 11, 2009 at 6:24 PM

Yup,heard it myself. Victory!!

katy the mean old lady on September 11, 2009 at 6:33 PM

MM is reporting……..

FNC’s Major Garrett reports on Twitter that the U.S. Census Bureau has cut all ties to ACORN, which had been named a Census data collection partner for the 2010 Census.

Census director Robert Groves, an ACORN-approved nominee, reportedly sent a letter to the racketeers today in the wake of Big Government’s videotaped stings in Baltimore and DC.

sherryande on September 11, 2009 at 6:36 PM

Major Garrett on twitter……

Breaking: Census director tells ACORN in letter all ties to group being severed for data collection as part of 2010 census.

http://twitter.com/MajoratWH/statuses/3920902185

sherryande on September 11, 2009 at 6:31 PM

Victory!

the_nile on September 11, 2009 at 6:38 PM

9/12 Wash DC

sonnyspats1 on September 11, 2009 at 6:38 PM

OT, before we get too happy about the census cutting ties with ACORN, remember they have all kinds of splinter groups that would be more than happy to help with the census.

Les in NC on September 11, 2009 at 6:40 PM

I wonder who they’re going to investigate regarding this one? Glenn Beck, Major Garrett, Breitbart ;o)

sherryande on September 11, 2009 at 6:40 PM

Les in NC on September 11, 2009 at 6:40 PM

Can’t we just have a minute……….?

sherryande on September 11, 2009 at 6:41 PM

Can some one clue me into what an “Olich Branch” is, I get its a play on Olive Branch, but what am I missing?

liquidflorian on September 11, 2009 at 6:42 PM

No mention of the Dems bill HR3200 should be without mentioning the Republican bill HR3400, that has tort reform in it.
Let’s get behind a bill that at least addresses many of these concerns.

right2bright on September 11, 2009 at 6:43 PM

sherryande on September 11, 2009 at 6:41 PM

sorry

Les in NC on September 11, 2009 at 6:44 PM

Everyone wants “tort reform” until a loved one is a victim of malpractice.

bschmalfeldt on September 11, 2009 at 6:20 PM

Not everyone. I am a physician and my brother’s death the day after Christmas last was preventable. Mistakes were made and those responsible will have to pay, as they should. I won’t get a nickel – any money will go to his wife and kids, as it should. I am still very much in favor of tort reform.

doctormom on September 11, 2009 at 6:45 PM

Not recommending that you visit a nutroots site, but here’s a headline on a well-known one at this very moment:

Teabagger Express-Bus Full of Racist Morans!

corona on September 11, 2009 at 6:46 PM

Well, you know how those “Morans” can be racist Corona

What’s a moran again?

JusDreamin on September 11, 2009 at 6:48 PM

Can some one clue me into what an “Olich Branch” is, I get its a play on Olive Branch, but what am I missing?

liquidflorian on September 11, 2009 at 6:42 PM

It’s what Harry Reid said Obama offered in his speech (read lies). Check Ed’s earlier post.

Les in NC on September 11, 2009 at 6:53 PM

Les in NC on September 11, 2009 at 6:44 PM

No worries ;o)

sherryande on September 11, 2009 at 6:55 PM

Obama is for preventive care, but against more tests?

Someone fix me — my head is hurting.

unclesmrgol on September 11, 2009 at 6:56 PM

What’s a moran again?

JusDreamin on September 11, 2009 at 6:48 PM

A cuban cigar.

infidel4life on September 11, 2009 at 6:56 PM

A cuban cigar.

Hmm. I thought they called those “Clintons”?

JusDreamin on September 11, 2009 at 7:01 PM

Guys, I told you this.

Limiting the number of tests we can do and leaving the present tort laws intact creates a “shooting fish in a barrel” scenario.

The day Obama acquiesces to tort reform is the day he resigns.

drjohn on September 11, 2009 at 7:06 PM

Les in NC on September 11, 2009 at 6:53 PM

Thanks!

liquidflorian on September 11, 2009 at 7:08 PM

I know a whole group of people that will be happy to relieve Acorn of their census duties. They will be in Washington DC tomorrow. No need to give you their address. Just be at Freedom Plaza at 9am and your sure to meet them!!!

sonnyspats1 on September 11, 2009 at 7:10 PM

This is one where I part ways with the GOP. CA has had a pain and suffering cap on medical malprac for years and premiums have done nothing but go up. Plus, if one of these quacks does you harm, good luck finding a lawyer to take your case.

Lou Budvis on September 11, 2009 at 7:21 PM

Don Henley was right: Let’s kill all the lawyers, kill ‘em tonight.

infidel4life on September 11, 2009 at 6:12 PM

Does that include our illustrious leader because after all, he’s a scumbag lawyer as well?

larvcom on September 11, 2009 at 7:32 PM

“Loser pays” only hurts middle class people’s ability to bring a suit b/c they actually have something to lose. The judgement proof plaintiff, however, will be emboldened to bring suit b/c if they win, they’ll get attorney’s fees on top of their award. Thus, in many suits, “loser pays” will actually work to the ADVANTAGE of the judgment-proof plaintiff and to the DISADVANTAGE of small businesses.

Lou Budvis on September 11, 2009 at 7:44 PM

Great cartoon. It reminds me of the RNC ad about wolves chasing Palin.

alliebobbitt on September 11, 2009 at 7:45 PM

If I were a doctor, I would refuse to treat lawyers or their kin. Let them suffer and die for a few generations. Perhaps they’ll just resort to suing the Catholic Church, either way these parasites can learn to feed off something else.

larvcom on September 11, 2009 at 7:45 PM


What is needed is:

–A “loser pays” tort system for medical injuries

rockmom on September 11, 2009 at 6:08 PM

That sounds good on paper, but I have a question on the applications. Does the plaintiff (read, “Their Ambulance-Chasing Shyster”) name a requested award, or is that value arrived at by the jury? I presume it currently varies by State. What’d be needed in addition to “loser pays” is to require that the plaintiff make known up front how much award they are looking for, instead of undefined and undeclared “punitive damages.” That would lend real teeth to the “loser pays” system. Expanding that policy to all lawsuits would also eliminate the recurring “jackpot” serial-suitfilers and other frivolous suits.

Blacksmith on September 11, 2009 at 7:52 PM

How different from liberals do you sound when you suggest tort reform to limit the free market’s ability to regulate itself? How often do we hear from liberals this or that would work better if we only had “sensible” regulation? This is what leads to big gov’t, and we hear this on a small gov’t board! This is how liberals will always defeat you. You advocate big gov’t in certain arenas but not others. So, the only difference between libs and cons is what type of big gov’t you want.

Soonerliberty on September 11, 2009 at 7:57 PM

I think Tort Reform is another restriction on the free market.

If the AMA did not do such a godawful lousy job regulating itself, it would not be so easy to win a malpractice case.

If the award actually “shocked the conscience” the judge has the right to reduce it.

I can not sue my doctor, and I have been scared shitless every time I need to go underr for surgery.

Squid Shark on September 11, 2009 at 8:56 PM

Tort reform? Try tort expansion

I’d settle for troll reform.

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on September 11, 2009 at 9:59 PM

Trial lawyers afflict the very entities that the liberal wing of the Democratic Party likes to demonize — the rich, corporations, the rich, doctors (remember Tonsil Vultures and Foot Rustlers?), the rich, etc. It’s an ideological as well as financial marriage.

You forgot to mention the fact that they produce nothing – another attribute of the profession that is dear to the left.

Wingo on September 11, 2009 at 11:45 PM

Don Henley was right: Let’s kill all the lawyers, kill ‘em tonight.

infidel4life on September 11, 2009 at 6:12 PM

Does that include our illustrious leader because after all, he’s a scumbag lawyer as well?

larvcom on September 11, 2009 at 7:32 PM

Constitutional “scholars” whose study of the sacred document gave them angst at it’s draconian limitations on tyrannical power, and restricts not at all their greedy grasping at our very lives, are at the very top of the list of evil-doers that must be dealt with.

Maquis on September 12, 2009 at 12:43 AM

President Palin has instructred Pressident Obama to develop and implement TORT REFORM.

Pressident is following the President like a mad dog. Of course he has to make an obligatory “bark bark” against his master by saying death panel is a lie.

TheAlamos on September 12, 2009 at 1:17 AM

instructred

Sourrryhhh (sound of Glenn Beck).

TheAlamos on September 12, 2009 at 1:22 AM

We have been there before thanks to Ted Kennedy. It is called an HMO. I know well how those work. I was having a problem with unexplained fevers. My doctor sent me to specialist for blood test that could not be performed in the office. That was as far as it went since I had apparently had all the test that I needed in their opinion or was allowed under their quota system. My doctor resigned in protest. He was one of those doctors who as BHO says he wants; that put patient safety first, but he really doesn’t. I went on and lived with the fevers and trying to figure out why I was having an ever increasingly difficult time dealing with the daily demands of my teaching. I saw other doctors; ones like Obama wants; the ones that give you a moment of face time, takes a guess at the problem, hand you a presription and the bill. A doctor who finds nothing wrong can not be held responsilbe for doing something wrong. The only difference under Obamacare is that you only see a nurse of a physicans assistent since there will always be a shortage of doctors.
In the end I was unable to continue to teach and that I had a serious medical condition could not be ignored. I went though a lot of doctors and endured about every test they have to give, many of them probably medically unneccersay, but neccesary to cover the doctors buts. It was my oncologist that found what was wrong. A simple shot given once a month would probably prevented the damage that is not fixable now. If that HMO doctor had been able to run just one more battery of blood test, he might have found it. I am a long way to from 65, but if Obama has his way, I guess I will be having that end of live conference, me and my dog.

Franklyn on September 12, 2009 at 6:47 AM

More BLahblahblahblah as usual.

tx2654 on September 12, 2009 at 6:47 AM

how to encourage broader use of evidence-based guidelines. I want to work with the AMA so we can scale back the excessive defensive medicine that reinforces our current system,

What I get from this quote, now that I’ve read the death panel sections of proposed reform bills, is that doctors will not be allowed to try whatever they can try to help those truly ill. I find it ironic that we have all these TV shows that glorify doctors and nurses and their “throw the kitchen sink at it” theory of treatment when the reality will be that we no longer have options. The gov will produce a handbook that says “Treatment ABC is most often successful at treating “Condition XYZ” so you will be reimbursed for this treatment, nothing more. Oh, and it it doesn’t work, the patient will sue.

Risk assessment is the right of the informed patient, not a bureaucrat or a handbook.

gopmom on September 12, 2009 at 7:16 AM

Related parody: “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 September 12, 2009 at 1:40 PM

It’s just Obama and the Democrats giving their most lucrative constituency a big, wet, open-mouthed kiss.

I hope they like tongue.

applebutter on September 12, 2009 at 3:20 PM

The Democrats suck, but the Republicans aren’t much better. They could have done something about tort reform when they were in power, but didn’t. It’s one thing to propose reform when you’re the minority party and there isn’t a chance in Hell of it passing, quite another when you have the capability to do it and don’t. That’s part of the reason why they’re now in the minority.

Socratease on September 12, 2009 at 5:27 PM