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September 13, 2006

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DBR

The writer of this letter either has a huge disconnect with reality or is being deliberately disingenuous....

The health insurance that you and I pay way too much for is NOT the same insurance that health care providers must purchase. Different product, different insurance carriers. Doctors purchase malpractice insurance from companies which sell professional liability insurance.

FYI, they ALSO purchase health care coverage from companies like the Blues, Aetna, etc., for themselves and their employees, just like everyone else...

It wasn't health care coverage that Dr. Hessen was referencing in her letter - it was the cost of medical liability insurance, which has gone up 1,400 % in Pennsylvania since 1975 - and almost 250% since 2000.

The reason medical liability insurance matters to everyone has nothing to DO with the cost of health care - but it has everything to do with whether or not we have ACCESS to health care at any price.

States with out-of-control medical liability premiums - and Pennsylvania is among the worst - are losing existing doctors, and possibly worse, can't attact new ones.

Dr. Hessen isn't looking for anyone's "sympathy" as she seeks liability reform - she's trying to help people realize that, while SHE can likely find a good job practicing medicine SOMEWHERE ELSE, it won't be quite as easy for her patients to find another doctor.

An article in today's Philadelphia Inquirer notes that there's an eight month wait for a new diabetic to get an appointment with an endocrinologist in Philadelphia. And with 92% of young doctors trained in Pennsylvania LEAVING Pennsylvania, people like Dr. Hessen aren't going to be replaced anytime soon.

Dr. Hessen's letter didn't blame AMERICANS for her insurance premiums - it laid the blame squarely where it belongs - an out of control legal system that consistently enriches only lawyers....

And while laying blame at the feet of HEALTH insurers for high HEALTH CARE premiums may be accurate, the very few companies which sell medical liablity insurance don't have a powerful lobby and they're NOT making large profits - in Pennsylvania, they're spending about $1.30 for each premium dollar they collect.

This letter's writer clearly has issues with health insurers - and clearly can't differentiate them from medical liability insurance companies. That's his problem - and it won't be solved by national health care or publicly financed elections.

OH....and Dr. Hessen supports Republican candidates because THEY support medical liability reform - while EVERY SINGLE DEMOCRAT IN THE US SENATE voted against it. Nuff said.


Matt

"States with out-of-control medical liability premiums - and Pennsylvania is among the worst - are losing existing doctors, and possibly worse, can't attact new ones."

So your solution is to screw patients? How does that help?

"And while laying blame at the feet of HEALTH insurers for high HEALTH CARE premiums may be accurate, the very few companies which sell medical liablity insurance don't have a powerful lobby and they're NOT making large profits - in Pennsylvania, they're spending about $1.30 for each premium dollar they collect."

Donna, Donna, Donna. Be honest about your stats. $1.30 for every dollar they collect? Maybe in one year, but how many insurance companies work off one, or even five, year projections. Lies, damn lies, and statistics. Historically, med mal is very profitable - I doubt Warren Buffett would have just purchased GE's med mal arm if it wasn't.

How come no one bothers to mention that the Santorum family wasn't so opposed to filing malpractice lawsuits that it stopped them from filing their own?

http://www.santorumexposed.com/pages/issues/issues-malpractice.php

DBR

"How come no one bothers to mention that the Santorum family wasn't so opposed to filing malpractice lawsuits that it stopped them from filing their own?"

Matt, Matt, Matt,

Can it BE that you're advocating barring the courthouse doors? Are you suggesting that Karen Santorum should have been forbidden from utilizing the court system that you and your ilk purport to support for ALL Americans? Is she somehow a second class - or NO class - citizen because she's married to a Senator? You support UNLIMITED pain and suffering for everyone ELSE? Mrs. Santorum's injuries shouldn't be compensated because....why, exactly? Because her husband supports REASONABLE limits that will help keep quality health care available to more people?

By THAT logic, I should have been forbidden from having that mastectomy that saved my life because I'm married to a surgeon who supports better patient safety measures...

Matt, Matt, Matt.....why don't YOU try some honesty for a change? Sen. Santorum ISN'T opposed to the filing of legitimate medical liablity lawsuits - nor is the medical profession. What they ARE opposed to is the utilization of the civil justice system as a get rich quick scheme by an admittedly SMALL percentage of members of the trial bar and SOME plaintiffs who haven't been legitimately injured....like the thousands who claimed to have BOTH asbestosis AND silicosis....

Oh....and the $1.30 payout figure WAS for one year - the previous year, it was $1.47 - that was before the premiums were raised...

DBR

Matt

Not at all Donna - I APPLAUD Mrs. Santorum having access to the courts, where ordinary Americans, rather than lobbyists like yourself, can decide the value of her case after (and here's a novel concept) listening to the evidence in her case!! As opposed to being wined and dined at Morton's about the "crisis" in medical liability. I'm merely noting the hypocrisy of utilizing the same civil justice system that Mr. Santorum routinely criticizes.

"Because her husband supports REASONABLE limits that will help keep quality health care available to more people?"

I guess I missed where $250,000 was designated "reasonable" by all? That's what, about what the average PA surgeon makes in a single year? That's what a child's brain function is worth to you? Or having to piss through a tube in your stomach?

"What they ARE opposed to is the utilization of the civil justice system as a get rich quick scheme by an admittedly SMALL percentage of members of the trial bar and SOME plaintiffs who haven't been legitimately injured."

I didn't realize that a three year lawsuit constituted a "get rich quick" scheme? That's an expensive and timely way to get rich quick, don't you think? And if you believe it's a small portion of the bar, why would you limit the recovery of the vast majority of the victims? Should we arbitrarily cap physicians salaries because some of them operate drunk? An admittedly SMALL number, of course.

"Oh....and the $1.30 payout figure WAS for one year - the previous year, it was $1.47 - that was before the premiums were raised..."

How many insurers have just been open 2 years? Or form with the purpose of being open 2 years. Strange that you don't look over a period of, say, 20 years. Wonder why that is?

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