President Obama Mentions Medical Malpractice Reform (“Deform”) in 2011 State of the Union

I voted for President Obama and fully expect to vote for him again in 2012. However, I am disappointed by one of his remarks delivered in the 2011 State of the Union message. In speaking about taking steps to improve the economy, the president mentioned that he is willing to work with the Republicans on medical malpractice reform legislation. I am hoping that his words were only rhetoric, chum if you will, to get a few cheers from the Republicans during the address, rather than an expression of his true intentions.

Among the lawyers who handle medical malpractice cases and know the realities of this practice area beyond the rhetoric, the word “deform” is substituted for the word “reform.” This is because the word “reform” suggests a good thing, while the word “deform” imparts a whole different meaning.

Make no mistake about it, the medical malpractice “reform” favored by Republicans is not a good thing for individuals harmed by serious medical mistakes. Their idea is to make it more difficult, if not completely impractical, for individuals harmed by medical negligence to seek redress through the civil justice system. I consider this a bad thing rather than a good thing, hence the use of the word “deform.”

For many years, powerful forces, in particular, the insurance industry, have pounded into the psyche of American society that our country faces a medical malpractice crisis. However, the truth is far different than the propoganda.

I have blogged somewhat extensively on the issue; included below are links to some of those blogs. Read the blogs and you will see that the propoganda melts in the face of the truth. Consider this, copied from one of those blogs:

“A major focus of the conservative position on health care reform is that frivolous lawsuits drive up health care costs and require doctors to practice ‘”defensive medicine”‘ that is costly and wasteful. However, the health economists and independent legal experts who study the issue do not believe that is true. They say that malpractice liability costs are a small fraction of the spiraling costs of the U.S. health care system, and that the medical errors that malpractice liability tries to prevent are themselves a huge cost both to the injured patients and to the health care system as a whole. Tom Baker, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and author of The Medical Malpractice Myth states ‘”If you were to eliminate medical malpractice liability, even forgetting the negative consequences that would have for safety, accountability, and responsiveness, maybe we’d be talking about 1.5 percent of health care costs.”‘

Other blogs:

The truth is out there. Do not accept the propoganda of major corporate interests whose only motive is profit – profit over people. At least do the research and arrive at your own conclusions.

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Jeffrey P. Gale, P.A. is a South Florida based law firm committed to the judicial system and to representing and obtaining justice for individuals – the poor, the injured, the forgotten, the voiceless, the defenseless and the damned, and to protecting the rights of such people from corporate and government oppression. We do not represent government, corporations or large business interests.

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