Wednesday, December 30, 2009

First, Kill All the Lawyers? reports the least surprising headline of the week/month/?year:

Trial Lawyers Sidestep Malpractice Curbs With Blitz in Congress

Neither measure (Ed.: House and Senate versions of healthcare reform) caps awards for victims of medical malpractice. The absence of such a provision reflects the clout of trial lawyers, whose PAC contributed $1.1 million this year to Democrats, trailing only the International Union of Operating Engineers and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington research group.

Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said at a town-hall meeting in Virginia in August that his party refused to limit awards “because the people who wrote it did not want to take on the trial lawyers.”

The public supports limiting awards: An NBC-Wall Street Journal poll in September found 65 percent of respondents backing limits on payments to people injured by malpractice.
. .

An Oct. 9 Congressional Budget Office report found that a $250,000 cap on awards for pain and suffering awards would reduce health costs by $54 billion over 10 years, or 0.5 percent of annual health-care spending.

Let's see here. A measly $1.1 million annual expenditure leads to over $5 billion extra costs yearly, including savings from less radiation from fewer scans ordered? One doesn't think that having both the President and the Vice President be lawyers has nothing to do with this, does one?

Birds of a feather are flocking together.

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