It is the eve of historic change. With every new piece of news that hits the wire, it becomes clearer that Speaker Pelosi will have the votes necessary to pass the Heath Care Reform Act of 2010. Fantastic! A new day, a new era for America! But, uhm… what is it that we’re celebrating? What is it that they’re passing on our behalf? 2309 pages, and the representatives are still struggling to read PARTS of it… yet the Speaker of the House tells people to vote for it? When has there ever been a Congress so willing to vote in the blind?
Medical Justice is by and for healthcare professionals. Of course, we want people to have health insurance. We want them to have health care available to them, health care they can afford. After all, we’re here to alleviate suffering. But, come on, people, at least know WHAT it is you’re voting for!
In comments to a blog about the subject, a cardiologist admitted that while it may not be the best thing for him, it’s the best thing for his children, grandchildren, friends, and acquaintances, so he’s in favor of it. Noble… but he doesn’t know what’s in those 2309 pages either. And that’s not the end of it either.
Some of the votes are “secured” by agreements to change the bill AFTER it is voted on and before it is presented to President Obama for signature. What sort of things are we talking about?
Then there’s the quote from a trial attorney, Martin S. Friedlander, who writes “…. In my experience as a lawyer for over 45 years insurance companies and banks prostitute themselves for the quick buck. We lawyers do our best to keep them honest.” Any time a trial lawyer starts talking about keeping insurance companies honest, there’s a hardwired instinct to put one’s hand over one’s wallet. The trial lawyers are at the heart of the real problem with our health care system — the one that no one is willing to talk about. Tort Reform isn’t addressed at all in this bill. If a trial lawyer likes it, you can bet that it’s not good for doctors, or their insurance carriers. It doesn’t matter if they’re suing the patient’s insurance or the doctor’s carrier. It’s still bound to be full of frivolous lawsuits aimed at jackpot payoffs.
When we sent you to Washington, honorable Representatives, we sent you there to use your heads as well as your hearts, to do what is best for us. Please, put off the vote just a short while longer. Know what it is that you’re agreeing to. Yes, you can always (hope to) amend it later, but would it really take that much longer to know what you’re agreeing to for now? Forgive our bluntness, honorable Representatives, but you’ve got a duty to know what it says BEFORE you vote for it.
While everyone’s getting pot-sweetening deals, how about sliding some Tort Reform in there, to give Reform some teeth?