Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Opposition ain't easy...

So we're all going to watch the State of the Union address tonight, right? Guess what you will not see before or after the address: opposition to tort reform, which is likely to be one of the issues brought up by Mr. Bush during his speech. From the NYTimes:
An advocacy group, USAction, said on Monday that four television networks had turned down its request to run an advertisement opposing President Bush's effort to clamp down on medical malpractice lawsuits.

The group wanted to run the spots just before Mr. Bush's State of the Union address on Wednesday. But networks said the advertisement violated their standards for advertising on controversial issues.


Mr. Bush has proposed strict limits on medical malpractice litigation, including caps on damages for pain and suffering, as part of a campaign for sweeping changes in the nation's civil justice system. In the television advertisement, Dylan Malone of Everett, Wash., says his son Ian suffered severe brain damage at birth, as a result of "medical errors," and died before his fifth birthday.

"President Bush is siding with the insurance, H.M.O. and drug companies, trying to end what they call frivolous lawsuits, while 100,000 Americans like Ian die each year because of medical errors," Mr. Malone says in the spot. "Mr. President, let's fix the health care mess, but please stop blaming the victims. My son's life was not frivolous."
When will we learn that the reason the costs of medical insurance is skyrocketing is the price gouging of drug companies and excessive "administrative costs"? Here's an idea: maybe instead of having a cap for recovery of damages, we have a cap on the profits of HMOs and pharmaceutical manufacturers? If they make more than X amount of billions of dollars in profits, couldn't they be required to lower user costs?

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