[PLUG-TALK] Prescription Drugs

Russell Senior seniorr at aracnet.com
Sun Sep 5 18:16:40 PDT 2004


>>>>> "Keith" == Keith Lofstrom <keithl at kl-ic.com> writes:

Keith> Now, if you want to make medicine cost less, worry a little
Keith> less about advertising and worry a lot more about lawyers.

That table says nothing about the relative contribution of lawyers to
health care costs.  The thesis of that whole set of slides seems to be
that we have a "medical services" industry rather than a "health
system".

You'll get no argument from me that the health care system we have in
this country is insane, but if you really want to lay it at the feet
of the legal representation of malpractice victims, you are going to
have to back that up with real data.  If you really want to reduce
malpractice insurance costs, it seems to me that a good way is to
reduce malpractice.  Another way is for society to compensate medical
error victims in a more uniform way, the absense of which just about
requires victims to sue to try to help fund the consequences of the
error.

If you want to "cap" medical malpractice claims for its social
benefits, I don't see why you should stop there.  Capping corporate
profits, CEO income, etc, are other good candidates.

See this:

  <http://www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/07/27/sebok.edwards/>

Which indicates actually malpractice damage awards have gone down from $754
million in 1992 to $596 million in 2001.  The article also says that
malpractice insurance represents 2% of health care spending.  That
leaves the other 98% unaccounted for.


-- 
Russell Senior         ``I have nine fingers; you have ten.''
seniorr at aracnet.com




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