“The proof is in the pudding” is proving to be more than just a convenient expression when it comes to heathcare reform. When we entered the current administration’s tenure, many were hopeful that the changes to come would be good, productive improvements. So far, though, it’s not looking good for the Gipper. The new “reform” package continues to stumble about blindly, amidst considerably challenges that suggest the entire thing may be scrapped as unConstitutional. Even status quo aspects like paying physicians a reduced fee for their services to Medicare and Medicaid patients are no longer maintained. The promise to those people who have paid into the program is not being kept. As of a couple months ago, the recurring extensions of funding stopped, leaving physicians high and dry and lacking 21% of what was already a substandard sum. This is causing Access To Care problems, and is nearly certain to get worse. When the American people voted in this President and accompanying Congress, it’s certain that they did so expecting functional solutions. So far, though, the Pudding is quite thin, at least a bit sour, and doesn’t begin to satisfy the needs of the people it was supposed to assist.

As predicted by some, the quality of coverage has already begun to go down, with insurance companies offering no-frills policies at reduced rates. Employers, being the for-profit entities that they are, stand ready to opt for lower premiums, and will offer those plans to their employees, like it or not. Though there may be some states that provide a high-risk pool, there is nothing saying that the people who most need the coverage will be able to afford it… and if they cannot, they’re subject to … wait for it … PROSECUTION and PENALTIES (on top of premiums when they already cannot afford the coverage itself!) As the old protest song says, this isn’t what the governed meant.

Physicians, too, are left out on the lurch by the new “reform” bill. The threat of lawsuits is continually driving up the costs of healthcare. Though it is clear and obvious that frivolous lawsuits (more importantly, the subsequent defensive medicine practiced because of those lawsuits) are costing patients and their insurance companies untold billions per year, there’s still not a shred of national tort reform in sight. The one time it was presented last year, simply in the form of caps placed on the PERCENTAGE a plaintiff’s attorney may receive (quite reasonable and customary, by the way,) the vast majority of representatives let loose a howl of “No way!” and sent that proposal packing. It would seem their allegiance to their trial lawyer buddies was stronger than their allegiance to the American people. Some of those representatives might claim that they were looking out for their constituents, by protecting their rights to continue to seek unlimited damages. The simple truth, though, is that the proposed caps wouldn’t have stopped plaintiffs from seeking fair damages. It would only have reduced the percentage of fees their attorney could get, capping it so that an attorney wouldn’t file a frivolous suit in hope of a jackpot payoff. It’s all irrelevant now. As far as Congress is concerned, they’ve provided our Salvation and moved on, with a quietly muttered “We doan need no steenkin’ tort reform.”

In the near future, the courts may disagree and show their disapproval of Congress’ method of salvation by declaring the law unConstitutional. Until then, though, it’s up to us, doctors and patients alike, to protect ourselves. Patients can start by making healthier lifestyles and preventative choices, and may benefit from researching their health care insurance thoroughly. That’s no guarantee that you won’t come down with an illness, but every effort helps.

Doctors can benefit from preventative measures as well. Physicians and dentists are well advised to invest in a membership in Medical Justice. The proof is in the pudding. No other organization or product offers as sound and reliable protection against frivolous lawsuits and Internet defamation. Medical Justice’ methods are proven, and their track record demonstrates that. In a time when nearly all doctors are sued at one time or another throughout their career, it makes good sense to have the reassurance of Medical Justice in your corner. Contact Medical Justice today. Find out how reasonable that assurance can be!