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Old 06-25-2009, 03:06 PM
10,719 posts, read 20,317,530 times
Reputation: 10021


I'm a cardiologist and Obama disappoints me. I voted for him in the election and I'm sorry I did.

What upsets me about Obama and his administrations' view on health care reform is his failure to implicate or even mention lawyers' involvement with the process. Attorneys and their frivolous law suits drive up the cost of health care in two ways. First, doctors order unnecessary tests to practice what we call "CYA" medicine or "Cover Your A$$" medicine because even if we had reasonable suspicion and did our best to diagnose and treat someone and someone gets hurt, you will be sued and the prosecuting attorney will ask why you didn't order this test

And contrary to what Obama said last night, ordering more tests doesn't necessarily earn me more money as I could see more patients if I wasn't forced to spend so much time on one patient ordering extraneous tests just to protect myself against a frivolous law suit. Most tests don't even impact the doctor who orders them. The lab fees are collected by a third party lab. The X-rays, CT's, MRI's and other imaging are collected by the radiologist or hospital.

The second way in which lawyers drive up costs is through insurance companies paying for these damages. Like any company, the insurance companies shift the cost onto the customers and reduce reimbursements for physicians. Right now, there are only 32 states in the country that place limits on punitive damages or the "pain and sufferring" damages. Even though you will cover their costs and any future costs the patient might endure, lawyers like to add on additional fees for punitive damages to punish or send a message which is unnecessary in most cases. There should be limits on punitive damages in all 50 states. There should also be legislation that protects doctors from unnecessary lawsuits if the physician acted in good faith and in a reasonable way. This will never happen because of the attorney lobby in this country. It wasn't even mentioned once by Obama on ABC last night.

And the other problem I have with Obama's health care reform is he mentions no efforts to reform the insurance companies themselves. Their costs are not directly correlated to damages from law suits as insurance companies rationalize. They raised premiums to make more profit...plain and simple, yet nothing was mentioned by Obama to reform the insurance companies.
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