After the last election, when this nation began discussing “The Issues”, the Vice-President-elect asked us to gather in groups all across the country to discuss the things we were most concerned with, and what solutions we might have for those problems. Needless to say, healthcare reform was near the top of the list. Specifically, people wanted universal healthcare coverage, and began think-tanking ways to afford it.
Then came the inauguration and the journey towards “walking the talk”. In the months since, the country has felt a wide variety of emotions and thoughts about the people we elected, from the President on down to the hundreds of members of the House. Some have cheered; others have groaned and moaned, as some sort of vague concept of Healthcare Reform began to emerge. What became most clear, though, is that this is not the Healthcare Reform that most of us had in mind.
Some have dubbed the current legislation “Obama-care”. That’s just cheap-shot politics, in that the President is hardly the one who penned these concepts and details. But whatever one calls it, the proposed legislation remains dysfunctional. Taxing the rich might help pay for the poor, but taxes on premiums which cost more than $8,750 per family aren’t likely to produce much revenue anywhere near those limits. People will exercise their right to avoid taxation by simply reducing the coverage to just below that threshold, and then there will be no income for the programs. It doesn’t take a lot to realize that these programs are far from paid for. No matter what process may be involved, it must be paid for, or it all becomes empty rhetoric that brings no change whatsoever.
What happened to the good intentions we sent our representatives to Washington with? What happened to all of that change we can believe in? So far, it has been turned into politics as usual, and a whole lot of patting themselves on the back for accomplishing nothing.
Meanwhile, even though the Oval Office has invited the nation to the table to talk about possible solutions, the healthcare providers themselves, those people on the front line who have invested their entire lives and careers to curing disease and alleviating suffering, have been turned away. Physicians have systematically been ignored when they tell the truth: Any real healthcare reform MUST include tort reform.
No matter what else is included in the plan, if the threat of frivolous lawsuits continues to force physicians to practice Defensive Medicine, the costs of healthcare will continue beyond the means of many American citizens. There’s no doubt of this whatsoever. The expense of Medical Malpractice insurance is just a part of the total cost of this nation without Tort Reform. Proof is available from states which have adopted measures to keep frivolous lawsuits in check. In states which have enacted evaluation of suits, over 75 percent have been found to lack merit! The problem isn’t with human error of doctors, but with the greedy few and their lawyers, both thinking of the physician as if he were a Las Vegas slot machine, and looking for a big payout.
Why, one might ask, is there nothing at all in this bill about Tort Reform? Not one word written addresses the issue! The most likely possibility is that the House is unwilling to alienate their pals, those trial attorneys who would have to look for another fatted calf if Tort Reform were enacted.
The House has passed a bill. Those greedy lawyers won’t be touched by that bill; there is no tort reform. If you really want healthcare reform, see to it that your representatives in the Senate understand that any healthcare reform MUST include Tort Reform. Without a change in the status quo, without new laws that stop attorneys from badgering doctors without cause, doctors cannot return to healing. Instead they will continue to spend far too much of their time as the favorite source of jackpot revenue for the greedy few.
The single most important aspect of healthcare has been systematically ignored by your elected officials. At best, the bill is ill-conceived. In a more likely scenario, Congress is considering passing a law that does nothing to resolve the problem while it provides trial lawyers with a fatted calf and millions of additional potential cases to take up against the doctors who are in the trenches day after day alleviating suffering and saving lives.
This matter is simply too important to our nation’s health and economy to allow it to be sidetracked, derailed by Politics As Usual. Take them to task. Do it NOW, before they put through SOMETHING and then pat themselves on the back for a bill that won’t solve the problems, but will add billions of dollars of debt to our country’s budget. This is your money and your country. Take action now — Let your voice be heard — so that the healthcare reform enacted today truly serves our nation, providing positive change in our well-being and economy.
In the meantime, physicians, dentists and other healthcare providers should look to Medical Justice to protect them from unjustified demands for refunds, unwarranted malpractice suits, cyber-bullying. 99.5% of Medical Justice Members face ZERO lawsuit claims year after year.* Contact us today to find out how you can get this peace of mind for your practice as well!
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