posted on May, 13 2008 @ 08:09 PM
reply to post by Keyhole
(1) Aren't trial lawyers also part of the reason that health care costs so much? I believe there should be a (2) cap on money awarded in malpractice
cases, this would help bring down the cost of the doctors malpractice insurance, doctors pay up to $200,000 a year for malpractice insurance. (3)
Doctors that have never been sued STILL have to pay a huge price for this insurance! Is this fair, no!
1) Yes. It's called "defensive medicine." I have heard anti-lawyers say 15% and I have heard lawyers say 7%. Because it is partly subjective, it is
very hard to "know" just how much law suits add to medical costs.
One thing we do know is that defensive medicine has resulted in many people learning about other conditions early enough to benefit from treatment, so
we ought to add the number of lives saved into the equation.
2) Damages are of three kinds. Special damages
are those expenses actually incurred or reasonably to be incurred. If you cut off a young guys
leg, you can figure every 10 years he'll need a new prosthetic device. General damages
are usually called pain and suffering. This is why you
will hear people argue whether the victim died instantly or lingered on. A quick death is cheap, but a prolonged death is costly!
A civil penalty. When the defendant's conduct is especially egregious, the jury may add a punitive damage award. Say your
surgeon comes to the OR intoxicated but he operates on you anyway, leaving his scissors inside your tummy. This foreign object causes you weeks of
excruciating pain and you're forced to submit to a second operation to remove the scissors. All operations are dangerous. 50 patients out of 10,000
die on the table for no apparent cause. The jury might add a million dollars to warn other doctors to stay sober or stay out of the OR. Trial judges
usually cut unreasonable awards substantially to be more consistent with the injuries suffered.
3) Good drivers have to buy insurance too. I am not privy to malpractice insurance costs, but I question that many doctors are paying $200K. That
sounds like a heart transplant doctor. Or the proverbial brain surgeon. I think most doctors pay $20-$50K depending on their specialty.
But I have never seen a real doctor who closed his doors due to the cost of his liability insurance. Methinks this is an Aesop Fable complaint. An
urban legend. But this is a diversionary argument at its best and an intentionally misleading argument at its worst. I have also heard that 80% of
malpractice is never acted on by the patient-victim.
FACTS. More facts.
On insurance premiums this would be one of the easiest areas to furnish FACTS. How many doctors pay X number of dollars versus
how many doctors pay Y number of dollars. How many claims. How long in practice. How many patients. And etc. All of those FACTS figure into premiums.
For all I know, the $200 K premium mentioned may be LOW?
[edit on 05/05/2008 by donwhite]