Pelosi bill is anti-tort reform

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The 1990-page of camouflage in the House “health care reform” bill (H.R. 3962, a.k.a. NancyCare) can hide a lot of provisions that would melt in the light of day.

Here’s one, described as “blowing a kiss to trial lawyers”:

Section 2531, entitled “Medical Liability Alternatives,” establishes an incentive program for states to adopt and implement alternatives to medical liability litigation. [But]…… a state is not eligible for the incentive payments if that state puts a law on the books that limits attorneys’ fees or imposes caps on damages.

No incentives for tort reform, in other words, if the state has already enacted significant tort reform!

This is probably not a CBO-scorable provision, but in the long term this section would probably cost much more than the average $500,000,000 per page calculated by Rep. Tom Price, M.D., (R-GA). Also remember that government programs have historically cost many times the amount promised.

The AMA House of Delegates may address the bill at their interim meeting in Houston, Nov. 7-11. As of this writing, the AMA website does not reflect awareness of this anti-tort reform poison pill.

Actions:

Be sure your state medical society and its AMA delegates know about this provision.

If you are near Houston, wear your scrubs and lab coat and greet the Tea Party Express in Houston on Nov. 7. AAPS Director Juliette Madrigal, M.D., will speak at the 11:30 rally at the Sam Houston Race Park. A caravan plans to drive by the AMA meeting site, and encourage the AMA to do the right thing.

10 Comments

  1. Would this apply to Texas?

    We already HAVE such laws on the books.

    We don’t have to “put” such a law on the books in the future (which is the action the wording above describes as disqualifying a state).

    Are these EVIL idiots in Washington trying to undo all the good our Tort reform has done? We’ve had a great influx of docs to Texas, and the people in the massive area between Houston and Matamoros now have Neurosurgical care availabe, which was not the case before tort reform. Try being transported 400 or 500 miles with your acute epidural hematoma before you get your life saving operation.

    Well, the state has turned down stimulus payments in the past….

    This is far more that “blowing a kiss.” This is prostituting one’s self to the legal profession. This provision alone should be sufficient to kill the bill.

    My counter proposal. We must make all managed care provisions that would apply to physicians also apply to lawyers.

    Perhaps a constitutional amendment that disqualifies members of the Bar from holding public office (too much of a potential conflict of interest)…

  2. The AMA is meeting in Houston next weekend at the same time as the TEA party.

    Is anyone planning informational picking of the AMA meeting in Houston, Texas, next weekend?

    WHY NOT!!

    Please contact me if you are interested in protesting at the AMA.

    [EDITOR’S Note: If you are near Houston, wear your scrubs and lab coat and greet the Tea Party Express in Houston on Nov. 7. AAPS Director Juliette Madrigal, M.D., will speak at the 11:30 rally at the Sam Houston Race Park. A caravan plans to drive by the AMA meeting site, and encourage the AMA to do the right thing.
    More info at: http://www.aapsonline.org/houston-tpe-final.pdf ]

  3. I have read HR3200 but not HR3962 yet and did not notice the language regarding tort reform in HR3200. I agree with the comments made and will notify our state medical association of this. As a lawyer and physician’s spouse I have been in agreement with the AAPS stance on healthcare reform. Hopefully with support from physicians and the communities we can make sure healthcare reform is not healthcare debacle.

  4. Note to Dr. Akins:
    If you are near Houston, wear your scrubs and lab coat and greet the Tea Party Express in Houston on Nov. 7. AAPS Director Juliette Madrigal, M.D., will speak at the 11:30 rally at the Sam Houston Race Park. A caravan plans to drive by the AMA meeting site, and encourage the AMA to do the right thing.
    http://www.aapsonline.org/houston-tpe-final.pdf for flyer.

  5. Typical PELOSI action!!! This GAL lives on the trial and tribilation of others. Just think – if something should happen to the President/Vice President, she would inherit the office of the Presidency. Hopefully the voters of America backed by the very folks she wants to hurt, will send her into retirement. If the minority party does not take over the House in 2010, HOPEFULLY, the Democratic Party will see the light and elect someone as Speaker who have the necessary qualifications to do the job. GOD help our Country if she continues as Speaker of the U. S. House of Representatives.

  6. Reducing physician reimbursement has been the cornerstone of every Federal “reform” attempt I’ve seen since I got out of internship in 1983; why should this Federal “reform” protect attorney fees?

    The corruption and the conflict of interest are apparent in, shall we say, a prima facie sort of way?

  7. When will we physicians learn that without a manifestation of our unity about key issues relating to healthcare that our goals will not be realized? I would like to see a DAY OF UNITY when every physician in the USA joins with his and her fellow colleagues on “main street” USA and shows that we, the doctors, are sick of having a healthcare plan created by a bunch of bureaucrats who no little about our profession. There is a need to show such unity to our patients.

    Who in the medical profession has been asked for input on the healthcare plan du jour?

    Why is there not a Manhattan Project-like approach to this problem involving physicians with decades of experience in the front lines of patient care, contributing their best ideas and getting feedback from a caucus of their peers. Then, present what is agreed upon to our elected officials. These lawyers in Congress should not be devising a health plan any more than Joe the plumber should plan a wedding.

    And, after a plan is created, why is there not a PILOT trial involving a limited population of patients to try out such a plan to see if patients and physicians find it acceptable, before glibly jumping into another frying pan–which seems to be our government’s modus operandi for too long a time.

    Stephen B. Strum, MD, FACP
    Medical Oncologist

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