July 30, 2009
— DrewM If you want the big medical dollars you have to go to law school, not medical school.
Earlier this year the Los Angeles Times reported the somewhat surprising statistic that the most performed operation in America is the cesarean section, where a baby is delivered through an incision in the mother's belly and uterus. C-sections are now performed in 31% of births, up from 4.5% in 1965.
They have not increased because they're more expensive than routine deliveries.
It's because of lawsuits.
Trial lawyers helped create a medical crisis through malpractice suits that raise costs while driving doctors from their practices.
Old Democratic presidential aspirant John Edwards won $175 million in judgments over a 12-year period suing doctors, hospitals and insurance companies, everyone but the candy stripers, over infant cerebral palsy cases allegedly caused by mishandled deliveries.
As the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists noted in a study in 2003, cerebral palsy could not be blamed in the "vast majority" of cases on delivery trouble. Edwards enriched himself by using bad science to bankrupt innocent physicians.
The New York Times has reported that as a result of such lawsuits, "doctors have responded by changing the way they deliver babies, often seeing a relatively minor anomaly on a fetal heart monitor as justification for an immediate cesarean."
But "tort reform" are the two words that may not be spoken during this debate. Gee I wonder if this might have something to do with it?
Amaya Smith, a spokeswoman for the American Association for Justice, the trial lawyers' trade group, declined to comment. The association's political action committee has given 95 percent of its donations in the 2008 campaign to Democrats.
Now I don't think donations usually affect votes as a quid pro quo but interest groups donate money to politicians who share their beliefs. We all know Democrats have an interest in screwing insurance companies and making people dependent on the government (you know, like all health care professionals are in places like the UK).
So no, you may not have tort reform but "Doctor" Obama will keep telling you how mean your family physician is. After all, he's seen the chart....
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