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Illegals March in Protest

Discussion in 'The OT' started by Nick, Mar 24, 2006.

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  1. jonstad

    jonstad Hall Of Fame

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    Jun 27, 2002
    There will always be "horror stories" aout any health care system, often because when you really need it, you are under horrible circumstances. There are plenty of instances of doctors removing the wrong organ or extremity or prescribing the wrong dose or medicine in the US system. One of the reasons malpractice awards shouldn't be capped. I'll elaborate below.

    But the proof of the pudding is that neither the citizens of Canada nor any other nation with universal national health care I am aware of are clamoring for a private insurance system anywhere remotely resembling ours to replace their own. In fact our own government, in one of the few items planned for reconstruction in Iraq was that they would eventually have a single-payer universal national health plan that covered all Iraqis. Unfortunately, a few other unplanned for details have gotten in the way.

    All that might be very compelling if it were true and not based on propaganda and half-truths.(I'm not implying they're your propaganda or half-truths)

    You won't get any argument from me there are too many lawsuits filed in this nation, many of them frivolous. However, the vast majority are filed by businesses and corporations against individuals, not the other way around. And suits filed by corporations are much more likely to be cited by judges as being frivolous.

    http://reclaimdemocracy.org/corporate_accountability/corporate_junk_lawsuits.html
    http://citizen.org/pressroom/release.cfm?ID=1799

    Businesses and corporations only seem concerned about lawsuits when they're the ones being sued. And that's what all this "tort reform" talk is all about. It's to limit individual lawsuits, NOT lawsuits brought by businesses and corporations. So if a corporation has a beef against you, it's balls to the wall! If you've got a problem with them, you're out of luck! I'll bet you enough drinks to make you drunk in a Texas bar that none of the "tort-reform" proposals include limiting business and corporation lawsuits in any meaningful way, ONLY individual lawsuits!

    Now, as far as malpractice insurance and suits specifically, something like 90% of all malpractice suits are brought against 5% of doctors. Why don't we get rid of those 5%, thereby eliminating 90% of the suits? Well, doctors stick together. And if you start disqualifying doctors for being incompetent quacks, who knows who'll be next? So there is no national licensing system for doctors, it's all done by state medical associations, associations run by doctors. They rarely sanction their members except under the most extreme cases of malfeasance, and then only when it gets publicized and may reflect poorly on the rest of them. They maintain no public databases on things you MIGHT like to know when choosing a doctor, like if and how many times they've been sued for malpractice, and how many times they've lost. And the umbrella organization, the AMA(American Medical Association), maintains no such databases or easily volunteers such information either. Which is why so often we hear of doctors who've lost their license in one state, simply moving to, and being accredited by, another state.

    Case in point-
    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2003/0310.mencimer.html

    I know it's a lot to swollow, but you get the gist. The problem with "malpractice suits" isn't the suits, IT'S THE MALPRACTICE!!!

    For patents on pharmaceuticals, I'd be willing to concede it seems fair that the patent should start when the drug is appproved by the FDA and can be sold to the public. However, I wouldn't hold my breath that prices will "drop by 1/3 across the board". Drug companies spend more on advertising than R&D for new drugs. Any additional revenues will more than likely be poured into more advertising and more record profits. Besides, these drugs, manufactured by the same companies, are selling for less than that now in Canada and other countries. Are Phizer and Lilly losing money in those countries? Then why don't they stop selling there?

    In the US, there's a symbiotic relationship between drug companies and health insurers. Drug companies can charge whatever they want and insurance companies will simply raise premiums, citing the higher costs. And we'll pay it because we have no choice nor bargaining power and that's precisely how the drug and insurance companies like it!

    Ok, this is getting way too long and way off topic. So in conclusion ladies and gentlemen!

    Real wages for the median and lower income family have not risen in real terms since the seventies while the gap between the middle and affluent classes has increased dramatically. The only way many families can keep their heads above water is with two full time wage earners, an anomaly in my day and for most of the history of this country. Yet, politicians and others have been able to lay the blame squarely on things like the minimum wage and malpractice suits. It just doesn't add up. If McDonald's should have to raise the price of a Big Mac five or ten cents, or heaven forbid lower their quarterly dividend, it's not going to cause another Great Depression, nor will you or McDonald's go bankrupt.

    Employee wages are certainly a part of the cost of business. But they are not the only part, nor for most businesses the majority part. Raw materials, transportation, physical plant, advertising, etc. all contribute. Yet we are led to believe that raising wages is the ONLY thing that ever adds to the cost of goods and/or services.

    What's the items risen most in cost recently? Petroleum! Wages had nothing to do with that. Or while we're on the subject, pharmaceuticals. I don't recall any major labor actions against them recently either. Yet the costs of drugs and health insurance keep rising. And as best I remember, Exxon/Mobil and Merck are not staffed by minimum wage employees. You're beating a dead horse. Labor cannot give up any more wage and benefit concessions unless they start paying their employers!
     
  2. Ray_Clum

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    Jon, I also agree with you regarding doctors’ liability causing their own insurance problems. I think you should have a three strikes policy, that if you have three malpractice claims, then you lose your license for 1 yr. Each successive claim after that is 1 year, then 2 years, then 3 years, etc. There needs to be an independent board reviewing these cases to provide consequences to these actions beyond higher insurance premiums...
     
  3. mrschwarz

    mrschwarz AllStar

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    May 8, 2004

    So if there is a doctor I don't like, I just need two other people to make malpactice claims to put him out of business for a year? How about penalties that fit the crime and are arbitrated by something other than an 'old boys' network?

    The problems cited above are very complex. I don't think simplistic solutions.

    Supply-side incentives aren't the total answer either. It is naive to think that a business will do anything other than serve its own self-interest. Shareholders require this. The solution is most likely a combination of incentives and restrictions for business.
     
  4. Richard King

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    Mar 25, 2002
    Being a doctor requries some "practice". If a doctor is gone for a year a requirement should be attached that he has to test his way back into the business and he should be required to spend the year in school studying up on what caused him to have a malpractice suit in the first place. If he is away fro a year doing nothing he will return as a worse doctor than when he left.
     
  5. jonstad

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    The malpractice mess, along with too many other aspects of health care in this nation, is just another symptom of a system broken!

    We've been convinced, mostly by advertising and industry advocacy groups, we have the best health care system in the world. When in fact by any objective measure we consistently finish at or near the bottom in most catagories of "national health", infant mortality, longevity, access to services, etc. Meanwhile, we have by far the most expensive system per capita of any nation, even if you consider the un- and underinsured as part of that "capita".

    The US health care "system" is a Rube Goldbergian hodge-podge that just sort of evolved with no direction or forethought except perhaps the profit motive. We cling to it largely because of the illusion of "choice" when in fact mostly there is little or no choice involved. We kind of get to choose our general practitioners. But even that is limited by which GPs are in our general area, IF they are participants in whatever "plan" we have chosen and what hospitals they may be affiliated with. We certainly don't get to choose what doctor tends us in the emergency room. And for the most part we "choose" surgeons and other specialists by the same criteria, who practices locally and who has surgery privilages in whatever hospital is dictated by our insurance plan. In general we don't get the "best" GP or surgeon in the nation unless we are willing to travel half way across the country, and more importantly if our insurance coverage will authorize and pay for it. Except for extraordinary procedures like organ transplants(and even those are becoming more commonplace and routine), your "choice" for your bypass or gall bladder operation will be at best a choice between several doctors locally designated by your insurance and hospital. And as previously stated, because it is difficult or impossible to objectively ascertain their skills, by for instance how many malpractice suits they've lost, our "choice" is often limited to our impression of them, basically their "bedside manner" and by the recommendation of other doctors who may have business interests and arrangements with the other doctors they recommend.

    But I ramble again.:grin:

    A national health care system might not enhance our "choices", but it would allow for a national registry of doctors with unbiased review boards to assess their qualifications and skills. Malpractice awards could be capped allowing such a system to be self-insured and doctors who consistently display incompetence, carelessness or malfeasance could be sanctioned and eventually removed if the vilations continue. AND, they wouldn't be able to just cross a state line to start all over again with a clean slate.

    Those would be just some of the many advantages a universal single-payer health system could bring us. IMO, health care should be viewed by the government as more of a public utility and less as strictly a for-profit business. Most civilized nations realized long ago that minimal levels of health care and services are not just for the few who could afford it, but like electric, water, sewer, telephone and other utilities that are vital to the public interest, should be available to all citizens. We might complain or relate "horror stories" about various public utilities, but in general government regulation(and in many cases ownership of them) has worked pretty well to provide us with these services, generally uninterrupted. We are about the last to apply this paradigm to health services. And we've done so largely because doctors, insurers and pharmaceutical companies have bought our politicians, not because it hasn't proven to be a better system!
     
  6. tomcrown1

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    problem for our illegal immigration solved, let the folks know, come to america go through our health care system and be in worst shape. Go to Canada were they have a better health care system, problem solved:p
     
  7. Bogy

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    Mar 23, 2002
    No hearing of any kind, and immediate confiscation of all property? In other words, a police officer stops an individual who looks Mexican and has a slight accent. He shows his driver's license, but the police officer decides it looks like a fake, and handcuffs the "alien", drives him to the border, and shoves him over. Then he makes his report, including the car which was seized, and bank accounts, property etc. are also confiscated. The police officer is congratulated for earning his quota for the month. A year later the "Mexican" finally proves he is actually a U.S. citizen, as his family has been for 4 generations. However, his property is now gone, and suing city hall is, as it has always been, an exercise in futility. Perhaps we could pause just long enough for a hearing to make sure the people we are deporting are really here illegally.
     
  8. Bogy

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    Having someone make a malpractice claim should not be enough to trigger an immediate loss of license. How about if someone LOSES three malpractice claims. Some validity to the claims needs to be determined.
     
  9. jonstad

    jonstad Hall Of Fame

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    Well, I would say "losing" the three claims might just give them "some" validity!

    Oddly enough, the sentiment seems to be no hearing or due process is needed for crossing a border illegally. Or you can be arrrested as a potential danger to public safety if you have one too many drinks at your hotel bar. But maiming and killing people as a surgeon or doctor is not enough in our society to warrant anything more than increased insurance premiums!:icon_stup
     
  10. Ray_Clum

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    Apr 22, 2002
    Not meaning to offend, Jon, but AMEN BROTHER!
     
  11. Ray_Clum

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    Apr 22, 2002
    I'll grant you that one, but the questionable area would be settled cases that did not see a jury...
     
  12. Bogy

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    My response is due to a doctor I was very close to, a doctor who came back to his home town after WW2 and served the community for decades, and then was driven out of his practice by a family who ignored the doctor's advice. They kept giving their baby water from their well, water polluted by Nitrates (or Nitrites?). The baby was turning blue, the doctor kept telling them they needed to immediately take the baby to the hospital 30 miles away, but they kept waiting to see if things got better. The baby died. Because the doctor did not stress "firmly enough" that they needed to take their baby to a hospital with a pediatric center (which the local hospital did not have), and let them leave the office without driving the baby to the hospital himself, he was found negligent. He was old enough to retire anyway, but the whole thing was a farce, with parents who were looking for someone else to take the blame for ignoring the doctor. They found a sympathetic jury and hung him out to dry. That is why just one case is also not enough to take away a doctor's license.
     
  13. Ray_Clum

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    Apr 22, 2002
    Which is why I thought I said 3 to start...
     
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