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Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

Posted by Sharon W on 7/09/03 at 20:15 (123903)

I will make no comments about this, I just wanted to give people a chance to check it out for themselves:

Sharon

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Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=534&ncid=534&e=3&u=/ap/20030709/ap_on_go_co/congress_malpractice

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

Ed Davis, DPM on 7/09/03 at 21:14 (123909)

Sharon:

A number of states have passed similar legislation although a national act would be better. The professional liability situation and excessive government regulations are pricing healthcare out of the reach of many patients. I really don't think that the majority of patients know how badly this is hurting them.
ed

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

BGCPed on 7/09/03 at 22:03 (123916)

Time and time again this Senate races to protect special interest groups and forgets the families and children and elderly people across America who are the victims of' medical errors, said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. He disputed claims that malpractice caps would reduce insurance costs, and he attacked the measure as an attempt to help the American Medical Association, HMOs, drug companies and the manufacturers of medical devices.

So I have a question for Dick. Would it be safe for a reasonable person to asume that HIS actions protect another special interest group. A group that happens to be the top contributors to the Democratic Party? Can you say Trial Lawyers Association

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

Dorothy on 7/09/03 at 23:35 (123925)

OK, watch carefully now as Dorothy sticks neck out and prepares for severe cut - but, here goes: what the USA desperately needs is single payer, universal health care. This would eliminate bake sale fund raisers for people who need a new kidney, the debilitating stress from worrying about how to pay for needed treatment, fear and terror for those who lose or never had health care coverage, the obscenity of bankruptcies due to overwhelming health care expenses, the outrageous disparity between those who have no health care coverage and little to no health care versus those who have Cadillac health care - for example, members of Congress and the White House whose health care is all paid for by, um er...all of US whether we have any or not! I recall not too long ago when Strom Thurmond MOVED INTO a hospital for constant medical care for a period that was at least one or two years! Who do ya think paid for that? How does that make your feet feel? I think it should make your feet - and your brain - angry, but angry enough to demand change. A recent article in the Christian Science Monitor covered the business/corporate 'community' and CEOs, as well as many physicians (not the AMA, but the AMA has dramatically lost membership) favoring universal health care coverage and major reforms. Health care in the US is in serious trouble. What I do not want to see happen is for the issue of the quality and extent of health care for all to be lost in the discussion, since such discussions generally focus only on 'holding down costs'. It is true that trial lawyers are big political contributors, but so are the big insurance companies and so is the AMA. And, let me make a sanctimonious reminder here: the best way to be a political contributor is to be an informed voter who votes!
Congress and the White House and all former presidents and first 'ladies', as well as military personnel, people on Medicare - rich and poor alike - all have single-payer, universal health care and coverage. (An aside here: it is galling to me to think of paying for Bill and Hillary Clinton to have their medical care paid for by our hard-earned tax dollars.) It is only when it gets discussed for you and me - those who are PAYING for everyone else - does it suddenly become that 'bogeyman', socialized medicine. Balderdash! First of all, there is nothing inherently wrong with socialized medicine if handled right, and secondly, it is a specious argument to be accepting 'socialized medicine' while vehemently denying it to those who buy it for you! Should your neighbors have to hold a raffle and chicken dinner so you can get treatment for cancer while George Bush and Bill Clinton go get their polyps and sunspots removed? There are brilliant (and genuine) conservatives and brilliant (and genuine) liberal thinkers who advocate single-payer universal health care in the U.S. It is only when it gets propagandized in the 'popular' media that it is made to seem like an alarming, alien concept. It is actually long past time for our tax dollars to actually go to many things that will benefit ALL Americans: universal health care, a top-notch mass transit system, a solidly financed Postal Service, top-of-the line PUBLIC education for all, and the like... These are some of the things that have, and can again, make us great. Did anyone read the terrific essay by Dinesh D'Sousa about what makes American great? I will find it and post the reference. It is really worth reading.
And finally, the attribution of failed efforts for health care reform that is usually given to Hillary Clinton is a false one. She worked in the cozy pocket of the big, extremely wealthy, insurance companies who were the biggest contributors to the Clintons to actually defeat what was then a rising level of support for genuine health care reform. The Clintons never genuinely worked for health care reform, only the APPEARANCE of working for it, and in fact were hugely instrumental in destroying hope for it at that time. I am sorry if I offend anyone's sensibilities on this subject, but there is both a Great Myth and a cult of personality around the Clintons that is very disturbing. Neither the Democrats as they have been configured since the Clintons, nor the Republicans since maybe Nixon speak for 'mainstream America' and what will make this country strong and prosperous. I love my country profoundly, but my heart is breaking for what has been happening to it and continues to happen to it. And, frankly, I can't deal with a broken heart AND hurting feet.
I say we begin with health care. Then we tackle the huge problem of the loss of jobs and movement of jobs out of the country. That essay will come some other time.... :-)
OK, I have said it. Please withold your yelling at me. I assure you all I am actually a pretty nice person. I am stepping off the soapbox now and putting head back into turtleneck.

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

marie on 7/09/03 at 23:54 (123927)

Unfortunatly we live in a sue you sue me society. All Americans should be protected by frivolous lawsuits. I think it was BG who acknowledged on the treatment board his disdain for doctors who claim to have a miracle book for folks with foot problems. It is sad that there are doctors out there whose only interest is making money off of folks in pain.

Now lets talk money. Lets say in the worst case scenario someone is perminantly disabled due to medical neglect. How much do you think around the clock care would cost these days? How much would a decent nursing home cost? And can you even place a price on the loss of a loved one? So you think $250,000.00 is going to cover say 5, 10, 20, 30 years of care? I have some friends who are doctors and their mortgage payment is $5000.00 a month. They weren't sure what color to paint their bedroom so they had it painted 5 times before they decided on a color. Ya gotta love em. Every time we see a new million dollar home being built by one of our local doctors (some are mine) I feel like I own a little piece of that, afterall I paid for it. Once some kids in my class were trying to find out were I live so they could TP me. I gave my OB/GYN's address. The next day they came in and asked if I was rich.....LOL.

My neighbor, Doc, a retired family physican has lived in the same house for 47 years. He drives a nine year old car and is greatly saddened by the greed some doctors have demonstrated. He is a real tough Republican and I know what he told me 'Maybe they should cap doctor's fees and salaries while they're at it.' Lets protect good doctors and not punish patients who were permanently disabled, maimed, or dead from medical neglect. Lets go after the real problem insurance companies and folks who are responsible for frivolous lawsuits....and their lawyers.

Let's take a poll. How much do you think a doctor should earn every year? How many weeks off for vacations? Patients only. I think $100,000.00 yearly is good with 4 weeks vacation. Of course I would give the doctors who post on this site an extra $50,000.00 a year because they are so kind to help us out.

have fun! marie

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

marie on 7/09/03 at 23:58 (123928)

You go girl! How could anyone be offended by the truth? Thanks Dorothy!

marie

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

BevN. on 7/10/03 at 08:06 (123934)

Marie,
Don't get me started , being a nurse, I worked for doctors for many years and I don't dare go there. =:) Bev

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

marie on 7/10/03 at 08:25 (123937)

My sister is a nurse........so I know.

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

john h on 7/10/03 at 12:43 (123950)

I think the insurance debate revolves around the pain and suffering awards not the actual damages. If one is disabled for life a jury may very well award them 10 million dollars to cover medical expenses. The problem arises when someone has medical damages of $10,000 and are also awarded $10 million dollars for pain and suffering. This is what drives up our insurance coverages and both Hospital and Doctors expenses to the point they move out of states that continue with unlimited pain and suffering awards. The Trial Lawyers fought this bill which would have limited pain and suffering to $250,000 to the the hilt. Our papers in our area had full page adds and the TV adds continue.

In our society everyone is free to make as much as they can including Doctors. One might ask is it fair for Bill Gates or each and everyone of the Walton family to have a billion dollars? In my view it is what makes America the land that it is. It is why immigrants fight to get into this country. You can start with nothing and go as far as your abilities or luck will take you. You will find very few billionaires or even millionaires in the socialistic countries of Europe because of the tax structure and welfare state. Would I want to live in these countries? No! I will never be a millionaire unless I win the lottery but my ability took me as far as I could go and I did what I enjoyed doing. I do not envy Bill Gates but admire him. He started in his garage. The last time I looked Doctor's had one of the highest sucicide rates of any profession. Getting through 10 or more years of medical school and working 80-100 weeks on meager pay is no easy deal.There is a lot of pressure that goes with being responsible for peoples health and lives. We have a segment of our society that needs help with prescription drugs without a doubt. I was one of those. In any medical system be it Canada,England or the U.S. there are trade offs and none are perfect but for me I am not ready to trade in our system for any I am familar with. Just continue to improve on it. Even our seniors were the ones who came down most vocally on Hillary's health plan.Anyone with or without money can walk into any emergency room in any hospital and not be turned away and they in fact do this on a regular basis.

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

marie on 7/10/03 at 14:33 (123953)

John,

It's easy for someone to sit back and make these kinds of statements (some of which I do agree with) if one has very good benefits, as I do. And your right folks should be able to make as much as they want. So lets see I feel that nurses work alot of long hours and are usually more involved with patient care more than physicians. So I think it only appropriate that they make at least half of what a physician makes.....that would be around $200,000.00 a year and one week paid vacation a month. I think the nurses would really go for that.

I have a few friends that are laid off. I'll ask them to ask if any doctors are standing in the unemployment line the next time they go to pick up their checks.

I really don't want to pick on doctors but it's hard for me to feel sorry for them as a group financially. Doctors are not the victims here. We are all subject to frivolous lawsuits, so why not pass a law that protects everyone from frivolous lawsuits. Schools have to pay enormous insurance fees to protect themselves and the staff from lawsuits. The teachers where I work are covered for 3 lawsuits at 200,000.00 each per year. The school itself has insurance that covers millions. Wouldn't it be nice if schools didn't have to buy all that coverage. Maybe we could use that money for new books or calculaters or maybe we could offer a course in anatomy for all our future doctors. I kinda feel that the law the way it was proposed is a little discrimintory and exclusive for those in the medical field. Do you think it would be a good idea to write a law that protects everyone from frivolous lawsuits? I guess I'd rather see the friolous lawsuiters punished....maybe it would deter some of the sue you types and their lawyers. Isn't that what we really want to accomplish?

Thanks for your comments John. Have a pleasant afternoon.
I hope your toe is mending!!!

marie

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

Ed Davis, DPM on 7/10/03 at 16:30 (123962)

Dorothy:

You really don't have to 'stick your neck out' when making such an intelligent, well reasoned post. You have a good understanding of the fact that what Bill and Hillary advocated was very far from a single payor system and would have literally been about the worst thing that could have happened to health care.

Milton Friedman, a very conservative economist, advocated a single payor catastrophic system. That is consistent with the 'safety net' function of government as opposed to the government micromanaging various aspects of the economy including health care. If private insurers realize that there exists a catastrophic governemnt policy, such a policy would act as a cap on their potential losses. As such, priovate insurers would be willing to insure more high risk individuals.

Dorothy -- please keep the great discussions going!
Ed

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

Ed Davis, DPM on 7/10/03 at 16:32 (123963)

Marie:

The $250,000 cap is for NON-ECONOMIC losses only. As such, you example would not be applicable.

Ed

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

Ed Davis, DPM on 7/10/03 at 16:46 (123967)

Marie:

What do you think that doctors really make on an hourly basis? I have one of the larger practices in my area. I make about $100,000 per year including benefits. I work 50 weeks per year so that is $2000 per week.
I work 80 hours per week so 2000 divided by 80 is $25 per hour. I have to, out of my earning pay for a part time nanny for my kids due to my long work hours. Additionally, student loans, no longer deductible are paid out on an after tax basis. Luckily, I am not longer paying student loans. A doctor does not even start earning a decent salary, often until several years after completion of education so that earning 'power' literally does not even go into effect until a doctor is in his/her late 30's. My plumber and my electician make a heck of a lot more than that with a fraction of the education.

There are highly trained specialists such as neurosurgeons who make a lot more money. They spend a lot of time in training and require an exceptional level of skill to do what they do.

Hopefully, you will never need brain surgery but if you do please contact me as I will try to find the lowest pain neurosurgeon around for you to make sure you are happy.

Ed

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

Ed Davis, DPM on 7/10/03 at 17:02 (123973)

PS
My sister in law is an RN who works for a registry doing ER nursing. She is paid $45 an hour.

Doctors spend considerable time treating patients for free. How many hours do you give for free? How many plumbers or electicians do free electrical work or free plumbing for the poor.

You really need to do a lot more research.

Ed

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

Sharon W on 7/10/03 at 17:32 (123982)

Dr. Ed,

You made a good point that has frequently been overlooked or misconstrued, even by the press... There was no cap on medical expenses, or on lost wages -- at least in the original verson of that bill that would have capped malpractice insurance. Only on 'pain and suffering' awards.

Marie made an excellent point, however -- there are some VERY frivollous lawsuits out there which have nothing to do with malpractice, and we really need some limits on them too! It is ridiculous, for example, that schools should have to spend big chunks of their education budgets for lawsuit insurance. I would favor putting a reasonable limit on ALL 'pain and suffering' awards, whether they are part of a malpractice lawsuit, or not.

Nonetheless, the naysayers have prevailed and national malpractice reform is dead (at least for now).

Sharon
.

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

Ed Davis, DPM on 7/10/03 at 17:45 (123992)

Sharon:

I think that tort reform is needed across the board, not just in medicine.
Although, when you look at the cost of medical malpractice insurance and the fact that many carriers are even refusing to sell it, the problem in medicine has reached crisis proportions in many areas of the country and needs immediate action. Luckily, a number of crisis areas have had relief from state acts.
Ed

Re: In the "frivollous lawsuits" category...

Sharon W on 7/10/03 at 17:46 (123994)

In May the U.S. Supreme Court let stand an Iowa Supreme Court order that the
Interstate Power Co. should pay a family $700,000 because stray voltage had
been juicing up their farm's cows. Daniel and Coleen Martins said that,
because of a nearby power substation, their cows had been kicking off their
milkers, swinging from side to side, and 'dancing,' to the detriment of
their milk production. [USA Today, 5-5-03; Des Moines Register, 10-30-02]
:))

Re: Another example

Sharon W on 7/10/03 at 17:49 (123995)

A man who was hit by lightning at a Cincinnati amusement park two years ago(who survived, but with brain damage) filed a lawsuit in June against the park. According to the man's lawyer, Drake Ebner, the man somehow did not
already know enough about how serious lightning storms are and the park
management was negligent in not warning him against heading for his car,
where he was struck. [Cincinnati Post, 6-17-03]
#-o

Re: Another example

Ed Davis, DPM on 7/10/03 at 18:00 (123998)

Sharon:

The way that some of those cases are won is by the trial attorneys bringing in 'expert' witnesses, that is, individuals with credentials who will testify, and basically say anything for the right amount of money.

I feel that most tort reform efforts that involve caps are a somewhat simplistic effort to stem excessive damage awards for 'pain and suffering' but are not getting to the core of the problem, the lying expert witness.

Ed

Re: correction

Ed Davis, DPM on 7/10/03 at 20:03 (124010)

Line above should read, 'lowest paid neurosurgeon'
Ed

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

marie on 7/10/03 at 21:53 (124022)

Wow what are you doing wrong. I live in a tourist/resort community. Most of our doctors live in houses that are in the 500,000. to 1 mil. Many of them don't live here on a full time basis so this would be their second house. Well I think you deserve an extra 50,000.00 a year just because you're a sweetheart to answer all our questions and put up with us. We don't have a local Podiatrist....ours comes up every other week from Ft. Wayne. He is a great guy...we women all just love him even though he is a total nerd. He takes such good care of us.

Remember I don't have to shop around because I am lucky enough to have insurance.

Re: correction

marie on 7/10/03 at 21:55 (124024)

Line should read 'marie has good insurance she is lucky enough to be able to shop around all she wants.'

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

marie on 7/10/03 at 22:11 (124028)

Wow, states bailed out physicians, but they don't bail out education. I wonder how that could happen. There are no guarentees in life whether you're a doctor or a humble teacher. I am all for reform but that bill was just not the one. And I truely do feel for the honest doctors out there. Aside from malpractice insurance doctors shouldn't be working 80 hours a week. Maybe that's how mistakes are made. Aside from that hospitals have cut to the bone and are understaffed. Nurses shuffled around and often stuck in areas their not even familiar with. I'll never forget the time my newborn son had to go back in the hospital for a few days. He was admitted to the pediatrics wing. I stayed with him round the clock because I was nursing him. I did use a breast pump at the hospital so I could leave and take a shower. One night they shuffled a nursery nurse up to the pediatric floor because they were short staffed. I asked her if she could bring in the breast pump . She brought a pump but I couldn't figure out how to use the darn thing. I called her back in and she took it back because she couldn't figure it out either. Well it was a pump....a stomach pump. We had a good laugh over it, but that's how mistakes are made.

Best wishes to you all.
marie

Re: Another example

marie on 7/10/03 at 22:21 (124029)

Not all of them win. Our old neighbors had a get together at their house. Their good friends who lived across the street were there. On their way out the wife slipped and fell as it had been snowing that evening. She broke her leg. Well guess what they sued their friends. Turned out to be a precident setting case for the state of Ohio. They lost because the judge told them if you live in northern Ohio you should know and expect winter weather. Therefore if you know that freshly fallen snow is slippery you should take proper precautions.

They weren't friends after that.

The neighbors that got sued were such nice folks it was a real shame. He is a retired baseball player. He was a catcher for the White Sox. I think their friends thought they'd hit the jackpot. Boy were they surprised when they lost their case.

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

BGCPed on 7/10/03 at 23:21 (124034)

Ed, there was an article on teachers pay. One of the highest paid is a shop teacher/drivers ed. He makes almost 90k per year. I am sure he works several hours but he also gets the gucciest insurance in Michigan, many holidays and has almost 3 months off. I cant do the math but that is a rather large hourly rate.

I dont begrudge him, he got what he could with the skills he has. One could argue that point all day what people should get paid. Rapper M&M just bought one of the biggest estates near here. I was originally built buy an auto supplier that is doing a 5 year stint for kick-backs and bribing purchasing agents etc.

The next owner was the former chief of K-Mart, the one that raped the company, ran it into the ground and is no being investigated and possibly sued for fiduciary idiocy. The house was 8 million when the K-Mart guy bought it and M&M got it for about 4 million. The house is huge and has a guest house bigger than most house that cost 300k. From the ait it looks like a country club.

The 'what should people get paid' argument is interesting. The original owner was an auto supplier thats in jail. He built a empire and did it in a shady way. The next owner(k-mart) bought it by raping a company like a vulture. The new owner M&M can afford it by writing music.

The interesting thing is at that level they all have contacts with the law in different ways. They also have attained that financial status in very different ways. A teenager would say M&M deserves everything he gets while a mid level exec may say M&M is a clown and gets paid way too much for foul mouthed drivel. That same exec may admire the K-Mart guy and say he is shrewd, savvy and got every penny he deserved. Point being it is all perception and value

The underlying theme is most folks call success making the most money the easiest way. A bum on a bench drinking cheap vodka is a loser and usless. A 55 y/o guy on a yacht drinking stoli all day is a winner. They both have all day to hang out and drink but one is a loser and one is a winner, it is judged by the assets one has and one doesnt

Re: Another example

BGCPed on 7/10/03 at 23:39 (124036)

Another common ambulance chaser tactic is birth complications from oxygen deprivation. The have ads and say is your child cp, retarded or suffers any type of condition? It is possibly from oxygen deprivation or birth complications....call us at 1-800 blah blah.

The problem is you can do this without proof or any real tests. If you have a child thats not perfect and has certain symptoms or conditions someone is to blame. The lawyer knows that a jury will feel bad for a kid that walks funny and has other issues. They cant prove what its from but they can raise the possiblility of birth complications.

Some juries will say that poor child is not perfect and those poor parents have to care for him. That rich Dr and hospital MUST have done something wrong and they have insurance so they should pay something.

Not sure what the answer is but there are too many suits that are frivolous and many are paid not on merit but to dismiss the hassle and settle to get it out of the way

Re: Another example

Ed Davis, DPM on 7/10/03 at 23:50 (124041)

Marie:

Luckily there are juges and juries out there with enough decency and common sense not to assess blame incorrectly.

The politics of jealousy -- 'he makes too much so its okay to sue' is practiced heavily by the liberal Democrats. It sounds like you are buying that line considering the nature of your prior posts. Why is it okay for the trail lawyers to make unlimited sums of money. There were trial lawyers who made $15,000 an hour on the tobacco settlement.

Ed

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

Ed Davis, DPM on 7/10/03 at 23:54 (124042)

Marie:

The states bailed out the patients. Most states do not allow doctors to practice without insurance. If doctors don't have insurance, patients don't have doctors.

If you are so intensely jealous about the fact that doctors make more than you, you could always go to medical school. You are probably more comfortable working a 35 hour week with 3 months off for the summer.

Ed

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

marie on 7/11/03 at 08:18 (124061)

Dr. Ed you crack me up. I take no offense just having a conversation. Teachers are only paid for the time they are there. 35 hours a week, we all wish. Like you we put in alot of hours that we are not paid for. When I use to do yearbook I averaged $1.00 an hour. I do get the summer off but we aren't paid for the time off. In fact we don't get a paid vacation at all. I have been at work at least 1-2 days a week this summer. We can opt to have our checks dispersed over a twelve month period. I have no complaints about my wages. You're right we all make choices when we get out of high school I chose teaching knowing full well what kind of income I'd have. I also understood it isn't a 8-3 job. I understood the stress involved in working with kids and I have had some violent ones. Teacher's have the highest rate of job burn out and the highest rate of alcoholism over every occupation. I am not jealous of the wages doctors earn I just don't view them as financially needy or in need of special laws to protect them from lawsuits. It is the same in education if we don't have the insurance our doors don't open. I have a master's equivalent. I spend at least $2000. every 5 years taking grad classes in order to renew my license. My out of pocket expenses for my classroom are anywhere from $300. to $500. annually. Because I am an art teacher I have to be a member of the association because of the risk of student injury in my classroom. The NEA will pay for the first 200 hours of legal service if needed after that it is split. It costs me around $700. a year to be a member. I can get insurance on my own if I choose for about the same cost. I understood all of this before I became a teacher. I am guessing that you also understood what it meant to become a doctor. You're a bright man. You're right our health care is in a crisis and it is time we role up our sleeves and get to work on it. Just as we need to role up our sleeves and get to work on the crisis in the airline industry, education, etc....all of whom have had their share of frivolous lawsuits.

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

Ed Davis, DPM on 7/11/03 at 08:41 (124069)

Marie:

The fact that liability reform is needed in virtually ALL industries should not influence your opinion on the need for medical tort reform.
Comparing incomes here is not a valid argument. Despite the liability situation, most industries, including teaching CAN still obtain insurance.
That is NOT true for medicine. Pregant patients in Nevada, last year, would have had to have had their babies in emergency rooms without prenatal care as the main carrier there pulled out of the state and other insurers REFUSED to sell insurance to the obstetricians AT ANY PRICE.
Thirteen states including my state, Washington have had similar crises. Only last month, 10 neurosurgeons in my area lost liability coverage, temporarily having to stop practice. Patients going to the ER with head trauma would have had no treatment available. Luckily, the insurance commissioners office found a company to extend insurance. How long that band-aid will last -- who knows. Washington Casualty Company, my company, stopped insuring doctors last summer, leaving 20 percent of the docs in WA State, including myself, without coverage last year -- I came within 10 days of having to close my doors.

Ed

Re: Another example

marie on 7/11/03 at 08:41 (124070)

Nope not buying into that. Where did you get that idea. As I said we should punish those who file frivolous lawsuits and their lawyers no matter what occupation it is. Rich or poor.

My inlaws use to own an airport. They had a client who just bought a small cessna to fly back and forth to NY for business. My father-in-law advised him that the plane was to small and he should get a larger one, but the man didn't listen to him. The man did not have his instrument license yet and still needed to hire a pilot to fly him to NY. One day he came in the office, it was in late Feb, and wanted to hire a pilot to take him to NY. My father-in-law said it was to far during the winter mos. to go in such a small plane....not safe. The man grumbled so that one of the pilots offered to do it on his own. My father-in-law said he would advise against it. But his pilot said he could use the hours.

On the way back from NY over Ohio they flew into a small but ominous white out conditions. The planes deicer's malfunctioned and the instruments went. The pilot, who we miss very much, radioed in that he was going down. He was hoping to get a glimpse of the ground as he was familiar enough with the region to know there were ample farm fields to land on. He got the plane down but in doing so he lost his life. His passenger survived with a broken leg.

We were devestated at the loss of a friend and certainly a loyal employee. The grumbly man filed a lawsuit against the airport. Because Dr. Ed, he saw a golden opportunity to cash in. It never went to court as it would cost more to do that. They settled. Yes it is an unfair world and boy do we know it. I am for punishing those who bring frivolous lawsuits against anyone doctors included.

Re: correction

Ed Davis, DPM on 7/11/03 at 08:54 (124075)

Marie:

Many patients don't have good insurance and are in a difficult spot.
Ed

Re: Another example

john h on 7/11/03 at 08:54 (124076)

The smartest pilots in the world are the ones that know when not to take off and not to attmept a landing and not to extend their abilities or experience level. When you see that grey headed pilot up in the cockpit he may not have the fastest reflexes any more but he has probably seen it all and does not get him/her self into a position of no return. Many accidents occur before the pilot even straps himself in the cockpit..

Re: Another example

Ed Davis, DPM on 7/11/03 at 08:56 (124077)

Marie:

Reading your previous posts-- you used income differentials to criticize the need for medical tort reform.

Ed

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

BGCPed on 7/11/03 at 09:28 (124080)

I recall seeing something that said an OBGYN has to pay about 85k for 100k of coverage. I may have read it wrong but that is insane if true

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

Sharon W on 7/11/03 at 09:44 (124081)

You made some very good points, BG. We do seem to admire those who make the most money the 'easiest' way. But we also show a lot about our society's values when we look at the monetary reimbursements associated with more or less equal levels of achievement in different fields.

While I was reading the discussion about how much top surgeons get paid, I was thinking about people in professional sports. I feel that they have worked as long, and as hard, to get to where they are as a doctor has. In the process, the typical sports star has endured a lot of stress and physical pain; the typical doctor has endured an incredible load of stress and sleep deprivation and emotional pain. Both are 'stars,' exceptional individuals who have achieved the top ranks in their fields.

The differece is how we view their contributions to society. The brain surgeon or heart surgeon saves lives almost every day. Other surgeons may not save as many lives but they do their best to restore or improve their patients' quality of life, or to lengthen the amount of time they have left to live.

Sports stars entertain us. Period. But of course, they earn FAR more than a 'star' surgeon would... because we, as a society, obviously value their contributions far more than the contributions of a famous surgeon.
In fact, many of us seem to resent what the surgeon earns... While the sports star may be envied but is discussed with great enthusiasm and almost universally admired.

Just an observation.

Sharon
:-?

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

marie on 7/11/03 at 11:56 (124095)

Yes you're right I shouldn't assume all doctors don't help the needy. Especially since there are so many who do donate time to clinics and so on. Yes you may be surprised at how much time I donate. I use to faithfully call one of my students every morning at 6:00 a.m.just to make sure he was up and getting ready for school. His dad left the house at 4:30 a.m. to go to work so the boys were on their own to (no mom) get ready for school. He was on the verge of losing his credits because of his tardies and was on shaky ground for graduating in the spring. I saw it as the only answer. Is it my job to wake kids up...No....but I do it anyway. I guess we are both guilty of assuming things about each others professions. My point is still the same punish all those who file lawsuits in hopes of getting their hands on some insurance money and their lawyers.

PS We all have to pay for childcare while we are at work and doctors aren't the only ones who have school loans to repay. I don't deduct that from my annual earnings. That stuff is reality for the vast majority of Americans.

You do need to try and spend more time with your family. How many days a month do you get off? Just curious?

PS I know what nurses earn.

marie

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

marie on 7/11/03 at 12:05 (124096)

Join the crowd. Insurance is out of control. I was RIF'd because of the astronomical increase in our insurance premium made it difficult for the school. I am not the only one affected. There will be larger classes and less offerings available to kids. It isn't about who makes more money. Never was. It's about a skrewed up society that is on a sue you sue me roller coaster. Laws are hard to pass to stop it because the lawyers lobbey it and kill it. They have had a bill put on the floor over and over again that would require those who file frivolous lawsuits to pay for all the legal fees of the party they are suing if they loose. That bill has been killed several times. That is the heart of the problem it is not exclusive to doctors and hospitals. I am not sure if it was knocked down by Democrats or Repulicans.....all I know is that it is a darn shame.

marie

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

Ed Davis, DPM on 7/11/03 at 12:14 (124098)

BG:

That is true IF they can obtain the coverage. Their rates are based, in part, on the number of deliveries they do per year.

Ed

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

Ed Davis, DPM on 7/11/03 at 12:17 (124099)

Marie:

It was knocked dwon by the Democrats. The Republicans have supported tort reform for years.

You don't seem to be acknowledging the facts I have been listing. I am unsure why. Many occupations are affected by the liability situation but it has only been the medical profession where insurance could not be obtained AT ANY PRICE. Also, most medical professionals are mandated by a number of states to have insurance. There is no legal option to go without insurance in many states

Ed

Re: Another example

marie on 7/11/03 at 12:22 (124100)

FDA ruled no pilot error. It was an airplane malfunction. It was a storm that that airplane should have handled easily. And as you may know most airplanes can be flown above a storm. The deicer malfunctioned and the wings and windshield iced up. He started a descent when the wings were covered he called in an SOS. I am sure your familiar with ice on the wings. When the instruments went it made it hard to navigate the landing because of the snow. The businessman who survived the landing said Jerry saved his life. And forever he would be grateful. In fact the FDA ruled that Jerry did an outsanding job considering the situation. But the businessman had some financial problems and needed the money. He knew if he filed a suit that it would be settled for the insurance money. And that is how the sue you game is played. The suit would have never held up in court. The cost to take it to court would have been more than the insurance money. That is how the game is played. This is why doctors get sued all the time because there are some that would stoop to doing that same trick.

By the way John.......my father-in-law was the aviation man of the year awarde by the FDA many many years. He is a well respected pilot whose name is known to every air traffic controler in the country. God's speed be with you.

marie

Re: Another example

marie on 7/11/03 at 12:25 (124101)

Sorry if it seemed that way. It is not what I wanted to convey. I just don't think doctors are suffering any more than the rest of us. It is a tough economic time. Change is needed that I agree. I just didn't think this was the bill to do it and apparently neither did the Senate.

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

Sharon W on 7/11/03 at 12:28 (124102)

Marie,

The fact is, MOST of our lawmakers in Congress, etc. are also LAWYERS. Their orientation is NOT to vote for laws that would prevent lawyers from making more money on profitable lawsuits... I suppose they have a loyalty to their own profession, just as Dr. Ed is loyal to podiatry and you have a loyalty to teaching.

Sharon
.

Re: correction

marie on 7/11/03 at 12:32 (124104)

I know.....that's why we're having this discussion. I am so very blessed but so many others are not. I feel there needs to be more help for those who are working but without insurance. It's a hard issue. I really think I am on your side more than you know. So Dr. Ed how do we save the world today....smile on!

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

marie on 7/11/03 at 12:33 (124106)

You're so right about that.

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

marie on 7/11/03 at 12:41 (124108)

Brian that was a very good assessment.

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

Sharon W on 7/11/03 at 12:42 (124109)

One more comment -- how often do sports starts get sued??

Sharon
.

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

marie on 7/11/03 at 12:44 (124110)

Good Sharon.

Re: Another example

john h on 7/11/03 at 12:44 (124111)

Marie: On occasion I got to fly the Chief of the FAA around to various locations and flew a regular route between Andrews AFB (outside D.C.)to London-Paris-Frankfurt. Our flights were primarly for Senators,Congressmen and other high ranking officials. Our flight was called the Hot Dog Flight and I could write a book about some of our elected officials amd their doings. I feel very lucky to have been a pilot during the period we moved into the jet age. I got to fly some of the very first production jet fighters and made the move into the first production jet helicopters. My early years I flew the North Atlantic runs in the low flying DC6 where you spent nearly all your time in the soup,ice, and foul weather. I once flew an F-89 from Iceland to Goose Bay where the fuel was so critical we had to be towed to the end of the runway before we started the engine so that we had enough fuel for the trip. Of course when you are 21 you are indestructable and in bars you can become invisable.

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

john h on 7/11/03 at 12:58 (124114)

Ed: We still have a number of states that have enacted their own laws limiting liability for pain and suffering. This problem eventually has to solve itself when Doctors just quit practicing in certain areas. I do not think the Feds can force them to practice where they cannot afford to.

I manage some commercial properities and recently was going to install some security cameras in one of the office buildings. Knowing that some of shopping centers have some fake cameras on the light poles I inquired about fake cameras because the bad guys do not know if they are live or fake. I found out I can no longer buy the fake cameras as a woman sued a shopping center when she was mugged in the parking lot. She said she had a false sense of security and thus the jury gave her a very large award. Now the manufacturer of such fake cameras and the owners can not take that risk. I was going to put in live cameras anyyway and did but liabilty and theft raise the prices of everything we buy including a substantial portion of the cost of drugs, hospital care, and medical care. Our lawyers are now so specialized that some specialize in tractor trailer crashes only, auto crashes only, medical malpractice,etc, etc. I personaly know several lawyers who became millionaires on one case. One I know lives on a large estate which he received as payment for defending a once rich person against a lawsuit. I work for a weathy person and I would estimate that he has paid out over a million dollars in legal fees this year. I see our insuurance premimums for many commercial properities and they are skyrockting because of liability issues. I think I read that arund $300 of the cost of every car made is the result of anticipated liability cost to the manufacturer. Ultimately we the consumers end up paying the cost of these outrageous awards.

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

Ed Davis, DPM on 7/11/03 at 13:14 (124115)

John:

All good points. I feel that consumers and patients often don't comprehend how hard the liability problems affect them personally. Interesting to see the Democrats unified, voting as a block against tort reform. Democrats often claim to be the party of the working man. They are making it difficult for the working man to get good medical care.

The tort problem affects our lives in more ways that many comprehend. I lived in Charleston, WV for a while after I finnished my National Helath Service Corps. scholarship obligation in that state. They had taken a large rock quarry, filled it with water and turned it into the best swimming pool you could ever imagine -- like a beautiful beach in the middle of the mountains. It was closed down due to liability costs.
Ed

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

Ed Davis, DPM on 7/11/03 at 13:24 (124116)

Sharon:

That is true. Although one would hope that ethics would supercede 'loyalty' at times. Senator Tom Delay, Republican of Texas is a pest exterminator by trade -- we could use a few more like him.
Ed

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

Sharon W on 7/11/03 at 13:30 (124118)

Heh heh heh. :D

We do have some stright-talking politicians in Texas...

Sharon
.

Re: Another example

marie on 7/11/03 at 13:44 (124121)

You certainly have done your share of flying I know you would fit in with my hubby's family. I think I was so involved with a medical discussion that I called the FAA the FDA...that neurontin messes me up all the time. It's nice to blame all my errors on neurontin. My father-in-law is a Republican and of course did work for Bush during the election. Just has he has done for every Republican running for office. Our family and many friends are very big suppoters of the Republican Party. We always look for them at the convention in Washington. My father-in-law like his son is married to a Democrat, needless to say she and I stay home.

I think this country is great because of the ability to have different views. And different political parties. We do have some work to do to get this country moving.

This morning we got news that a dear old friend passed away. He was what we call an airport rat. I think he was there more than at home. When my family sold the airport the new manager didn't know what to think of this grey haired man smoking a cigar and filing his car with gas at the same time. He was a genrous man who helped many throughout his life. He was a great pilot. He had a radio company as in airplane stuff....and I think the thing on top of the Sears tower in Chicago was installed by his company. Financially he was very successful.....but he never showed it. He just loved to fly. There will be no funeral service or showing. He didn't want us to go through that.

marie

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

Sharon W on 7/11/03 at 13:50 (124122)

Dr. Ed,

As I've said before, I think you're EXCEPTIONAL (in a good way!) It is heartwarming to know that you would give someone a break if they were already tightly-stretched financially and didn't have insurance. I wish there were more doctors like you.

By the way, I have a pretty good idea about the hours that doctors work -- and those student loan payments must be real back-breakers!

Sharon
:)

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

BevN. on 7/11/03 at 14:21 (124126)

BGCPed,
That is why so many of our GP's have stopped delivering babies , due to the malpractice insurance.

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

BGCPed on 7/11/03 at 14:23 (124127)

Thanks to both you and Sharon. Another side note. Many Dr for pro sports teams are dropping teams due to liability. There have been more than a few athletes that have sued the team Dr claiming thru malpractice their career was limited. Most of the teams wont carry the Dr's liability insurance.

They will lose more and more of the good Dr and will be replaced with the ones that want to pay for the prestige of being the team Dr for the San Francisco Blah Blahs. Not always the best Dr but politically connected and or ready to pay the other prices that go with it.

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

BGCPed on 7/11/03 at 14:33 (124128)

Yhe Attories go after the money. Traditionally Dr and hospital had a big pot of gold to pick from. If the Lawyers really cared for the people they would do something good like say, sue criminals. An elderly lady gets her purse grabbed and dislocates her shoulder. Lots of pain, suffering and trauma. The criminal should pay right?

Well there is no such thing as liability insurance for criminals. Inambulance chaser terms they are 'non-collectible' i.e. they dont have that pot o gold. Maybe we should pass a law saying that any felons convicted of violent crimes like assault, rape or murder have to buy felons insurance. Maybe make them pay $1000 a year for $25,000 coverage.

Make it go up on a sliding curve like auto insurance, base it on their record. It would be a win win. The scumbags would have more to offer than just sitting in jail. The victim wou;ld get some monetary reward and the Lawyers would have a new money source to exploit. Make it a condition of parole.

Well what do you think?

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

Sharon W on 7/11/03 at 15:09 (124136)

Another sad sign of the times. There have been some unfortunate mistakes made in my own, and my family's, medical care but I have never considered suing anybody. What all these excessive lawsuits have done to our country is disgusting. If a doctor (or a nurse, for that matter) makes a mistake, there are some families who will look at that situation almost like 'winning the lottery' -- a way to make some big bucks! Personally I find that attitude really disgusting.

Don't get me wrong. There ARE times when medical mistakes are just 'over the top' and a great deal of harm is done by them. Then a malpractice suit may actually be appropriate. But if there was an avoidable (but accidental) complication that occurred while a surgeon SAVED YOUR LIFE -- is it right to repay that with a lawsuit? I say it's no more appropriate than that businessman Marie was talking, about bringing a lawsuit against them even though that pilot had probably saved that jerk's life while losing his own!

I was quite disappointed that the bill was to limit ONLY malpractice suits, not something that would apply to other situations. But I felt that getting PART of the tort reform we need would have been better than just staying with this unacceptable status quo.

Sharon
.

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

Ed Davis, DPM on 7/11/03 at 15:11 (124137)

BG:

The amount of liability connected with treating pro-athletes must be considerable due to the salaries the pros are getting. Being the treating doc for a pro team has always been a big marketing feather to wear in one's cap -- maybe no longer worth it.
Ed

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

Ed Davis, DPM on 7/11/03 at 16:53 (124142)

Marie:

I have Sundays off and occasionally a half day on Saturday.
Ed

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

marie on 7/11/03 at 17:20 (124145)

Sharon you hit the nail on the head. I get so angry at people who have abused the legal system for their own personal gain. We all pay for it.

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

marie on 7/11/03 at 17:23 (124146)

You need more time than that. As I remember you have three little kids....and two of them are twins. Time flys by and before you they're pulling out of your driveway. You are certainly not an example of some of the wealthier doctors I know. You're the kind of doc we need.

marie

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

BevN. on 7/11/03 at 19:30 (124156)

Sharon,
We could have sued when my father died, however we said, what's the use, won't bring daddy back and will only cause more grief to mother. The hospital nurse admitted to us about the mistake that was made during the bi-pass and told us what had happened. They told us we would not receive a bill for anything at all for the 2 weeks of care daddy had while there, intensive care . We never did get any bills at all.

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

marie on 7/11/03 at 19:36 (124158)

Mistakes are made all the time because we are human. Doctors aren't robots in white coats they're plain and simple humans. I suppose I'd be more upset if it involved my child and if it meant around the clock nursing care. I think more folks are apt to get riled up when a hospital or physician trys to hide or deny the mistake.

marie

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

Sharon W on 7/11/03 at 20:11 (124166)

Aye, there's the rub!!

I think MANY people feel that way -- and in any case, almost everyone gets a LOT more riled up if someone tries to hide or deny their mistake(s). I believe that for a lot of us, what we would really want is an APOLOGY from the doctor or the person in charge, followed by a complete explanation of what happened and exactly HOW it happened (preferrably WITHOUT ever getting a bill for a botched work).

BUT, if doctors, or nurses, or the hospital, or anyone at all ADMITS to having made a medical mistake, there can be very BIG consequences -- the most catastrophic, of course, being the legal position it puts them into -- after all, they have just CONFESSED to 'malpractice'. Can they really afford to take the chance that the patient (or his family) might use that sincere apology and complete explanation to defeat them in a malpractice suit?? Very few doctors or institutions THESE days would take that risk.

Even though they obviously made a mistake, I admire the doctors and staff who handled their mistake the way they did when Bev's father died. (It was clearly the RIGHT thing to do, but I'll bet there isn't a lawyer in the country who would advise their clients to handle the situation that way.)

Sharon
.

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

BevN. on 7/12/03 at 09:42 (124198)

Sharon,
I am sure that if the doctors or anyone else ever knew what that nurse said, she would have denigned it on the spot. I am sure she told us that in a time of great grief, just after it happened, and she really did not mean to say it, it just kind of slipped out. She would never admit to saying it in public, or ever say it again. You know how people say things ,trying to make others feel better, then they think, oh, no, I shouldn't have said that, well, I think that is what happened in that case.
Doctors would never admit to having made a mistake.

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

john h on 7/12/03 at 10:20 (124204)

Your lawyer will advise you to admit nothing, deny everything or better yet say nothing.

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

Ed Davis, DPM on 7/12/03 at 19:24 (124271)

Marie:

Thank you. You can see the pictures of my twin girls here on the picture section of the social board. I think you may be pleasantly surprised to know that most doctors don't fit the stereotyped image of the golf playing, Mercedes driving individual. Most work very long hours and are quite dedicated. Some high profile specialties are associated with very high incomes such as cosmetic surgeons and neurosurgeons. Family doctors, general surgeons and those in the core specialties are hard working, upper middle class economically but far from being wealthy.
Ed

Re: Another example

marie on 7/15/03 at 11:57 (124476)

By the way I forgot to mention the businessman who filed a suit against the airport also filed a suit against the ambulance service, the hospital and the doctors. His wife also filed a suit against them all for her pain and suffering....she wasn't even there. It was a real eye opener.

marie

Re: Democrats Kill Medical Malpractice Bill

mj on 5/01/07 at 18:02 (228958)

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