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kerryin2004 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-04 02:15 PM
Original message
Bush hates frivolous lawsuits against Doctors...
Edited on Sun Jun-20-04 02:16 PM by kerryin2004
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/18/opinion/18HERB.html?e...


President Bush traveled to Youngstown, Ohio, a few weeks ago to talk about health care, and before long he was reprising his complaint about "junk and frivolous" malpractice suits, which he said are discouraging good doctors from practicing medicine.

To bolster his argument Mr. Bush introduced a local doctor, Compton
GirdharryThe president praised Dr. Girdharry and thanked him for his "compassion."

"It's been four years since my son passed away, and I don't feel any
stronger or any happier than the day I lost him," said Lisa Vitale, whose suit against Dr. Girdharry and a hospital was settled out of court.

Judy Mays, another patient of Dr. Girdharry, delivered a son by Caesarean section on March 26, 1999. The baby was fine. But, as alleged in a suit filed by Ms. Mays, when the incision was closed, a sponge with a cord and a ring attached to it was left inside.


Ms. Mays said she learned after the surgery that part of her large and small intestines had been removed, and that she probably would have died if the sponge had stayed inside her for another month. The surgery, she said, has left her with a variety of permanent ailments.

Yesterday a White House spokesman said the president had not been aware of the problems in Dr. Girdharry's background. "Had this doctor provided that information," the spokesman said, "he would not have been at that event."
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dammit905 Donating Member (139 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-04 02:19 PM
Response to Original message
1. That is most unfortunate
But this is one of the only issues I agree with the GOP on... Tort reform for these malpractice suits really is important. This is an unfortunate example, however.
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teryang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-04 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. Insurance and access to state courts
...are state issues not federal issues.

Tort reform, or the encroachment on the people's fundamental right of access to the courts, is a payoff to the insurance and medical industry for its support of fascism. Fortunately many if not most of the employees of the health care industry see right through it.

Americans need to wake up concerning this issue, the need to sue an incompetent professional comes up once in a lifetime if at all. At that time, it's a little too late to find out that the legislature has taken away virtually all of your rights.

States are capable of fashioning their own remedies, such as risk pools, like Florida's Neurological Injury Compensation Act. This is not a federal issue. So much for the republican respect for states' rights.

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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-04 02:44 PM
Response to Reply #1
9. You're being scammed by the insurance companies.
Please don't buy their poor me stories until you've looked at their numbers. Especially, for me, executive compensation numbers.

I don't see the value in giving doctors a license to kill so that a CEO can have gold faucets in every bathroom. I just don't.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-04 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #1
14. So-called "tort-reform" doesn't lower insurance premiums ...

so who does it benefit?
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Th1onein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-21-04 06:59 AM
Response to Reply #1
17. Tort reform is all about screwing the victim
eom
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eaprez Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-04 02:20 PM
Response to Original message
2. Bush Doesn't Care About Doctors....
...he cares about protecting the insurance industry from having to pay settlements and judgements when doctors screw up. If a lawsuit is truly frivilous - the insurance company would fight it tooth and nail.
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2Design Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-04 02:24 PM
Response to Original message
3. yes the problem was the doctor they chose to have at the event
not the fact that doctors do things that cost patients, in lives, time, quality of life, and wrong item operated on..... I love it when things backfire on this idiot.
Unfortunately that is not on the daily news at night....just his statement that are not true....helping veterans.....behind the scenes cutting verteran benefits....
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MasonJar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-04 02:24 PM
Response to Original message
4. I agree that frivolous suits are endangering us all. Doctors in
areas will no longer deliver babies because the mal-practice insurance is so much higher when they do. Many rural doctors used to do everything; now their mal-practice insurance is higher than their revenue...hence no babies. The suit mentioned above is not frivolous. Typical Bush!
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eaprez Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-04 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Rates went up
...because the insurance industry lost their ass in the market. Not because of lawsuits. The insurance industry hasn't lost the bulk of their wealth to lawsuits. By raising costs - the insurance lobby can manipulate the debate. My car insurance went up $250 per year....no claims no tickets no accidents! My homeowners insurance has gone up $160 this year....no claims. All because of frivilous lawsuits? No! Study after study after study has proven that is not the case. This is another case of 'if they say it often enough, the public buys it'....and then will ignorantly be manipulated in supporting legislation to curb payouts to people who are injured.
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girl gone mad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-04 02:48 PM
Response to Reply #6
13. You're exactly right about that...
and here'a a good article I found which mentions that. According to the article, California faced high rates for years after capping awards, and premiums only stabilized when the stte started regulating the industry more closely.

http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/insurance/pr/pr002963.p...
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girl gone mad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-04 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. I'm not even sure that frivolous lawsuits..
are the problem. Here in Texas, a law was passed that capped medical malpractice awards, and insurance rates have remained high. The insurance companies are gouging doctors. Part of the problem is that the insurance industry seems to believe they have a constitutional right to consecutive increases profits. The industry was not designed to be profitable year after year.

Doctors associations could do much more to keep malpractice from happening, but they have been unwilling to take any action against the small percentage of doctors responsible for the vast majority of malpractice claims. Frivolous lawsuits are a problem, but in the scheme of things I think they are just a small part of the problem.
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-04 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. The insurance industry has paid good money to be unregulated.
Your money. Our money.
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cornermouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-04 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #4
10. As far as delivering babies is concerned,
there's probably going to be a major move to birth by midwives who, conveniently, are much cheaper for the insurance companies. And if the insurance companies can figure out a way to allow a technician of some sort to perform surgery without a medical license, I expect that will also happen.

I'm not so sure that the squeeze is from lawsuits as much as it is from insurance companies.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-04 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #4
15. Such claims are made by proponents of "tort-reform" ...

but in every case where I've been able to find a follow-up story, the claims turned out to be untrue. Here in NC, the insurance companies were pushing a story that doctors were fleeing the state to avoid high premiums -- but the story turned out to be completely untrue.

There are real disincentives, under existing law, to discourage filing frivolous suits.
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exgop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-04 06:41 PM
Response to Reply #4
16. Could you define 'frivolous suits'?
Very few frivolous suits are ever won initially much less survive the appeals process. The notion that frivolous suits are causing our current problems is a myth. The number of lawsuits per doctor is declining and the average settlement size isn't going up any faster than the inflation rate. It's a scam designed to allow for greater corporate profitability at the expense of the common folk and you've fallen for it.
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Jade Fox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-04 02:37 PM
Response to Original message
7. A large number of deaths/permanent damage ARE caused by....
doctor error every year.

What are people supposed to do, say no problem, I
don't mind that my husband is dead cause you screwed up?

There were hour long infomercials played in my area recently under-
scoring how terrible malpractice lawsuits are making it for...patients. I
don't pretend to have all the facts here, but anyone who has that
much money to spend to tell me I'm getting screwed by the other guy
sets off my alarms.
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myopic4141 Donating Member (309 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-04 02:48 PM
Response to Original message
12. Lack of truth
The Administration is infamous for distributing misinformation. They do not care what the truth is for by the time the truth is discovered, it is too late to do anything about it. They most likely knew what the lawsuits were about and ignored it just as they ignored exculpatory evidence for not going to war in Iraq. It is Shrubby's policy to make everything a fait accompli. A policy his Administration is good at through misdirection.
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