Vail Daily letter: Health care politics |

Vail Daily letter: Health care politics

Fredric Butler
Vail, CO, Colorado

The trial lawyers must have some affinity for people in general who are viewed as victims with wrongs to be redressed either by way of the threat of litigation or trial itself.

One would then think that this compassion would be addressed to health insurance reform that would lower the costs and expenses attendant to care and cure, and in turn make coverage available to all — even the poor and unemployed.

How to lower the costs of health care, now that is the rub. Could we not look to the ways and means of it all, such as fomenting lower cost drugs and medicines, reasonable hospital facilities available to even the middle-class, increased competition between private insurers across state lines, tax credit incentives, untying the collusion and “tie-ins” between the FDA, AMA, insurers and pharmaceutical companies, and last (but not least) tort reform?

Alas, it is not to be for the power elite of Congress, the executive czars and the aforesaid associations and companies have looked to other remedies: expanding the bureaucracy to provide public health care insurance; inflating the money supply to partially fund the process; and increasing the tax burden on the rich and middle-classes to support the administration of this massive program.

Need one wonder then why the “cost” approach to the dilemma is eschewed by the administration in Washington?

One of the greatest influences on these high costs is malpractice insurance that state governments require of physicians just to practice their trade or calling.

Is there a political connection between an organization that controls both houses in Washington (the Democratic Party) and lobbying organizations of lawyers (American Bar Association or the American Trial Lawyers’ Association”? These latter associations primarily fund the Democratic ticket, and help assure that members will keep their legislative positions every two or six years. Ah, therein lies the sacred cow.

To bring the trial lawyers to account, to delimit the excessive damage awards, and to preclude a legion of frivolous tort claims would be tantamount to eliminating one of the largest contributors to the DNC, to calling to task the so called advocates for the “victims” of society, whether they are manufactured or not, victimizing the politicians themselves, and simply killing the sacred cow.

The venue of medicine and health care is fraught with inherent risks to the patient, and it is left to the dedicated physician or care-giver to assume that burden with the resources available to them as human beings. We should expect no more of them.

The mere intimidation fomented by the presence of trial lawyers overseeing and prescribing the “standards of care” required of doctors in their profession inhibits the innovative and aggressive treatment of injuries and diseases, and often makes victims of doctors themselves, notwithstanding the ever-expanding costs attendant to health-care insurance.

It all comes around to the so-called representatives of the people in Congress. Were they to subserve the interests of the people by lowering these health-care costs rather than protecting the sacred cow to their own benefit and prosperity, the public option would be off the table, and the American people would be better for it.

Fredric Butler

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