Friday, August 21, 2009

Sarah Palin To Barack Obama: No Health Care Reform Without Legal Reform.

Sarah Palin has just hit on the one issue Obama and his death cult do not want to discuss, and that is tort reform. Out of control lawsuits, sky high malpractice insurance, and doctors running more tests than needed, just to cover their tails, is all part of the single largest expense in American health care that can easily be remedied.

Tort reform is key. To "fix" healthcare, without major tort reform, would be like going in to do open heart surgery on someone, but not actually working on the heart!

We all know the stories of the trial lawyers who have gotten rich with bogus lawsuits. One of the most egregious practitioners of these phony baloney lawsuits is newly minted baby daddy John Edwards. Edwards became a multi-millionaire ambulance chaser by specializing in suing on behalf of children with cerebral palsy.

Edwards, a shyster deluxe, even went so far to "channel" unborn babies during his courtroom antics. Thanks to this one unscrupulous attorney, malpractice insurance went through the roof, many doctors quit their specialties, or went bankrupt.

But even worse, cases of cesarean birth dramatically increased, as Edwards used his greed, and junk science to convince people that natural childbirth was the culprit and cause of all of these cases of cerebral palsy.

Now besides the extra costs involved, having a cesarean birth is dangerous for the mother, as infections can easily set in, and of course, recovery is longer. But who cares, John Edwards sure has a nice house, doesn’t he!

This is just one guy who cost hospitals, doctors, and insurance companies hundreds of millions of dollars during his career. There are lawyers like him all over the country just waiting for their next payday.

Turn on the television. If you watch for any length of time, you will see dozens of ads from big law firms actively seeking defendants for all sorts of cases. Not saying all of them are bogus, but when you see people resorting to advertising nationally for victims, you have to wonder just how big the problem truly is or isn’t, and conclude it’s all about the Benjamins!

Of course, another issue people overlook in this, is the fact that lawyers are so busy chasing high profile, big paydays, that many cases that are real get shoved aside because they won’t make the attorney a huge payday. Small cases don’t add a new wing to the family compound!

As a Texan, I can say that tort reform works. Texas passed major tort reform years ago, capping damages one could get for "pain and suffering." They also beefed the medical boards to investigate doctors suspected of having issues.

The result? As Sarah points out, thousands of doctors have moved to Texas. This has had a huge impact, especially in rural areas. Where there were once shortages of doctors, now there is coverage.

I live in a hospital town, we are home to a hospital that started out in a log cabin, which is still on the grounds, that has grown into a regional system of hospitals and clinics, and even has it’s own health care insurance plan.

Seeing a doctor here is an easy, very friendly process. Even though the complex is huge, the effort is to make sure every patient has their own regular doctor who is able to meet their needs. Very user friendly.

It is also a teaching hospital and is part of the Texas A&M system.

This is what happens when government is responsible, then gets out of the way.

I agree with Sarah Palin 100% on tort reform. For Barack Obama and the rest of his communist party to talk about "health care reform" without tort reform is beyond ridiculous, and it borders on criminal.

Of course, we all know that actually "reforming" health care is the last thing on these people’s minds. This is all a big power grab, and an attempt to completely usurp the Constitution of the United States. Anyone who has actually read HR 3200 knows that monstrosity is nothing more than a gateway to a complete communist state. It is a liberty and freedom stealing document that needs to be burned!

Lets get serious and get behind Sarah Palin. No tort reform, no health care bill.

Here is Sarah’s statement from Facebook:

No Health Care Reform Without Legal Reform:

President Obama's health care "reform" plan has met with significant criticism across the country. Many Americans want change and reform in our current health care system. We recognize that while we have the greatest medical care in the world, there are major problems that we must face, especially in terms of reining in costs and allowing care to be affordable for all. However, as we have seen, current plans being pushed by the Democratic leadership represent change that may not be what we had in mind -- change which poses serious ethical concerns over the government having control over our families’ health care decisions. In addition, the current plans greatly increase costs of health care, while doing lip service toward controlling costs.

We need to address a REAL bipartisan reform proposition that will have REAL impacts on costs, and quality of patient care.

As Governor of Alaska, I learned a little bit about being a target for frivolous suits and complaints (Please, do I really need to footnote that?). I went my whole life without needing a lawyer on speed-dial, but all that changes when you become a target for opportunists and people with no scruples. Our nation’s health care providers have been the targets of similar opportunists for years, and they too have found themselves subjected to false, frivolous, and baseless claims. To quote a former president, "I feel your pain."

So what can we do? First, we cannot have health care reform without tort reform. The two are intertwined. For example, one supposed justification for socialized medicine is the high cost of health care. As Dr. Scott Gottlieb recently noted, "If Mr. Obama is serious about lowering costs, he'll need to reform the economic structures in medicine—especially programs like Medicare." [1] Two examples of these "economic structures" are high malpractice insurance premiums foisted on physicians (and ultimately passed on to consumers as "high health care costs") and the billions wasted on defensive medicine.

Dr. Stuart Weinstein, with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, recently explained the problem:

"The medical liability crisis has had many unintended consequences, most notably a decrease in access to care in a growing number of states and an increase in healthcare costs.

Access is affected as physicians move their practices to states with lower liability rates and change their practice patterns to reduce or eliminate high-risk services. When one considers that half of all neurosurgeons—as well as one third of all orthopedic surgeons, one third of all emergency physicians, and one third of all trauma surgeons—are sued each year, is it any wonder that 70 percent of emergency departments are at risk because they lack available on-call specialist coverage?" [2]

Dr. Weinstein makes good points, points completely ignored by President Obama. Dr. Weinstein details the costs that our out-of-control tort system are causing the health care industry and notes research that "found that liability reforms could reduce defensive medicine practices, leading to a 5 percent to 9 percent reduction in medical expenditures without any effect on mortality or medical complications." Dr. Weinstein writes:

"If the Kessler and McClellan estimates were applied to total U.S. healthcare spending in 2005, the defensive medicine costs would total between $100 billion and $178 billion per year. Add to this the cost of defending malpractice cases, paying compensation, and covering additional administrative costs (a total of $29.4 billion). Thus, the average American family pays an additional $1,700 to $2,000 per year in healthcare costs simply to cover the costs of defensive medicine.

Excessive litigation and waste in the nation’s current tort system imposes an estimated yearly tort tax of $9,827 for a family of four and increases healthcare spending in the United States by $124 billion. How does this translate to individuals? The average obstetrician-gynecologist (OB-GYN) delivers 100 babies per year. If that OB-GYN must pay a medical liability premium of $200,000 each year (which is the rate in Florida), $2,000 of the delivery cost for each baby goes to pay the cost of the medical liability premium." [3]

You would think that any effort to reform our health care system would include tort reform, especially if the stated purpose for Obama’s plan to nationalize our health care industry is the current high costs.

So I have new questions for the president: Why no legal reform? Why continue to encourage defensive medicine that wastes billions of dollars and does nothing for the patients? Do you want healthcare reform to benefit trial attorneys or patients?

Many states, including my own state of Alaska, have enacted caps on lawsuit awards against health care providers. Texas enacted caps and found that one county’s medical malpractice claims dropped 41 percent, and another study found a "55 percent decline" after reform measures were passed. [4] That’s one step in health care reform. Limiting lawyer contingency fees, as is done under the Federal Tort Claims Act, is another step.

The State of Alaska pioneered the "loser pays" rule in the United States, which deters frivolous civil law suits by making the loser partially pay the winner’s legal bills. Preventing quack doctors from giving "expert" testimony in court against real doctors is another reform.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry noted that, after his state enacted tort reform measures, the number of doctors applying to practice medicine in Texas "skyrocketed by 57 percent" and that the tort reforms "brought critical specialties to underserved areas." These are real reforms that actually improve access to health care. [5]

Dr. Weinstein’s research shows that around $200 billion per year could be saved with legal reform. That’s real savings. That’s money that could be used to build roads, schools, or hospitals.

If you want to save health care, let’s listen to our doctors too. There should be no health care reform without legal reform. There can be no true health care reform without legal reform.

- Sarah Palin

[1] See

[2] See

[3] Id.

[4] See

[5] See


  1. Sarah:

    I am not a supporter of yours. I vote Democratic; but as a manager of my wife's sole Alternative Medicine practice I would like to give you some information about what is happening with EHR (Electronic Health Records) that is VERY BAD.

    The stimulus package stated that unless all physicians adopted EHR there would be a 4% cut in their Medicare reimbursement, beginning in 2014. EHR sound great and Obama said that it would cut costs and reduce errors. As a physician, this is a LIE.

    EHR would be a MASSIVE burden for most small physician practices and for most physicians. They want us to buy equipment costing $44,000 to start (they put $19 billion in the stimulus to give grants for this purpose). EHR forces doctors to SCAN every bit of information to a computer system. Convenient Physician paper charts would be eliminated. Doctors would have to dictate everything into a machine, that would produce a machine translation, full of errors. Unless the physician or a high level person was able to check for errors, the result would be way more errors than on the personal but sometimes hard to read paper charts.

    It would be a massive burden for many physicians to maintain accurate EHR records. I am not against using computers more, or giving physicians the opportunity to choose what ever method works for them. However, Mandates creates a problem. What happens if there was a Public Option? The government would be able to demand the doctor's entire file on each patient. They will be able to do this for Medicare too!! Everything that a doctor says to their patient could be Emailed or sent by Disk to the Government for review. I don't know anyone who would want to become a family physician under these circumstances. I assume this invasion of privacy runs against your core principles

    The fact is that most small medical practices are run very efficiently. It is mostly the Government run State Medicaid facilities and VA Hospitals that are run the least inefficiently with the most errors. The government should first improve their own facilities before trying to drastically alter every healthcare practice by taking away patient charts.

    Instead of changing the whole country, why not focus on using EHR where it is needed - for Radiology facilities, where most tests are performed. They are already equipped for EHR. Radiology facilities could be required to give patients copies of their written reports.
    Patients should be taught to keep their own medical files, so that they could present it to their doctors. This alone would save billions of dollars in wasted time and tests.

    It may be too late to save the $19 billion wasted on EHR, but there could be amendments in the healthcare legislation to eliminate any mandates on EHR.

    EHR is also bad because it requires that small doctor's offices become hi-tech facilities. If the data is lost or a Virus infects the system, the practice is finished. Basically, the insurance companies are the ones pushing EHR. They want the doctors to spend the extra time in order to make it easier for them - eg. so as not to have to scan doctor's billing or medical records, when needed. The savings in cost is at the expense of the doctor's time and costs.

    Doctor's would have to carry portable computers with them at all times in order to access the patients records. It would be much slower than having a convenient paper chart and hiring staff to scan documents continuosly, correct dictations and maintain all the computer equipment.

    I can tell you much more on why mandated EHR is very bad. Feel free to contact me for more information. I am in Harrisburg, PA

  2. Jerry, thanks for your comment.

    Everything the democrats are attempting is a very bad idea. It's all about control. There is something in the democrats/communist DNA that makes them believe that only they Know best, and that gives them a need to control every single facet of one's life.

    Freedom, liberty, and common sense are foreign concepts to that bunch.

    You say you always vote democrat. Could this be one of those family tradition deals?

    It's OK to make a change. Back in the 1980's almost every democrat in the country became a Republican to give Ronald Reagan to incredible record breaking landslide wins. This will happen again in 2012 when Sarah Palin becomes our next President.

    You won't see idiotic freedom stealing, big government, nanny state ideas come out of this gal!

  3. As the manager of my wife single physician Alternative Medicine practice, I agree completely with the need for Tort/Malpractice reform.

    It is sad that this issue isn't being discussed by Democrats - obviously because Lawyers are big contributors.

    I saw on CNN this issue finally be discussed. However the uniformed commentator said that there are cases such as when a Surgeon amputates the wrong leg, there Should be the ability to have a very large lawsuit.
    This was a ridiculous example because no Physician would dispute the need for lawsuits for this extreme case.
    However, there are so many frivilous lawsuits from alledged "pain and suffering". We know of many cases of workers' comp injuries where the patient is grossly exaggerating the injury for profit. There are even insurance surveillance tapes of the individuals shopping merrily on foot, shortly after leaving a doctor's office in a wheel chair. The insurance companies have to go through so much red tape for years to have a chance to drop them.

  4. On a separate issue, I would hope that Sarah would take up cause of illegal immigrants getting access to healthcare reform.

    Everytime this issue is discussed on places like CNN, it is repeated that the Healthcare proposal doesn't included Illegals.

    However, the issue is that they would use fake identification - such as driving licenses and soc. cards. Republicans tried to add amendments to force proper E-verify identification, but it was rejected on party lines.

    It is also not clear if illegal family members of legal residents would be able to get healthcare as a family member.

    The 2nd issue is what would happen if in the next 2 years, illegals would be give some type of amnesty as part of comprehensive immigration reform. Would they then be able to qualify for this new healthcare?

    These are legitimate questions that should be asked, instead of only hearing the more uniformed at Townhalls, who aren't asking the right questions. The media is making them out to be quacks.

    Any new healthcare legislation should specifically address these points. Failure to do so could result in millions of more immigrants, hoping to come to the US for free healthcare.

    I wish there would be some way for Sarah to read these remarks so that she can help take down the Nancy Pelosi backed healthcare proposals.