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  • boomer_here boomer_here Dec 3, 2005 4:55 PM Flag

    Sleazy does it...

    Lawsuit Abuse Critic Explains Suit
    Senator's Wife Sued a Chiropractor for $500,000, Was Awarded $350,000 by Jury

    Though some critics have call for tort reform, some also still engage in big lawsuits.

    Nov. 10, 2005 � In recent years many doctors and politicians have complained that frivolous malpractice lawsuits and disproportionate jury awards are a problem in need of reform.

    But when "Primetime" did some investigating, it turned out that at least some of the people in favor of reform � even some of its loudest proponents � have themselves benefited from the current laws.

    The Senator's Wife

    Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., says that the No. 1 health care crisis in his state is medical lawsuit abuse and in the past he's called for a $250,000 cap on non-economic damage awards or awards for pain and suffering. "We need to do something now to fix the medical liability problem in this country," he declared at a rally in Washington D.C., this past spring.

    But Santorum's wife sued a doctor for $500,000 in 1999. She claimed that a botched spinal manipulation by her chiropractor led to back surgery, pain and suffering, and sued for twice the amount of a cap Santorum has supported.

    Santorum declined a request for an interview, so "Primetime" caught up with him at the signing of his new book in Pennsylvania this August to ask if he thinks his stance and history are in conflict.

    "I guess I could answer that in two ways," he said. "Number one is that I've supported caps. I've been very clear that I am not wedded at all to a $250,000 cap and I've said publicly repeatedly, and I think probably that is somewhat low, and that we need to look at what I think is a cap that is a little bit higher than that."

    'Of Course I'm Going to Support My Wife'

    But the fact is that Santorum has sponsored or co-sponsored a $250,000 cap on non-economic damages two times � even though he testified in his wife's case against the doctor.

    "Of course I'm going to support my wife in her endeavors," he said. "That doesn't necessarily mean that I agree with everything that she does."

    But Santorum agreed enough to tell the jury that he had to carry the laundry upstairs for his wife and that, because she suffered humiliation from weight gain, she no longer had the confidence to help him on the campaign trail. The jury was so moved it voted to award Karen Santorum $350,000.

    "That's where again you're misled is that a lot of, there was cumulative damages," he said. "The medical bills, lost income, all those other things that were out there."

    Those medical bills totaled $18,800, yet she sued for $500,000. And lost income? The judge made no mention of that when he slashed the jury's award in half, saying it was excessive.

    The judge noted that the remaining damages "awarded amounted to something in the neighborhood of $330,000 or so for injuries sustained and the effect upon Mrs. Santorum's health, her past and future pain and suffering and inconvenience."

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    • One ingredient conspiquously missing in rising health cost, is the corporate world fighting that rise. Perhaps if they werent allowed to walk away from such resposibility they would be more inclined to participate. The govt should not be bailing them out on this, but encouraging them to stay in it, and solve it in the private sector.
      ==============================================

      Today GWB called for corporations to meet their responsibilities. Its nice to have the Presidents in agreement!

      Hopefully we can all begin to come together on issues like healthcare or SS reform. Now that the liberal attempt to politicize us into another war lost using the lives of our heros as bait has all but failed, Boxer claiming credit for reducing troops after the Iraqi election already LOL, we can have some form of optimism any attempt to politicize our domestic issues will be ignored.
      After 60yrs of near total Democrat rule, 60yrs of failed foreign policy and enemy appeasement, they came up with some great ideas for what should be an entitled expectation for all Americans. Their lack of biz sense left them severely lacking in how to get the job done, that after that 60yrs we are still confronted with the lack of proper implementation of such programs instead finding ourselves lost in the quagmire of govt waste or failed policy. Since losing power, liberals have been engaged in politicizing just about every issue of concern to the American people, blocking almost every effort of reform addressed. Including basic Constutional law giving the Pres power to appoint supreme Court Justices. Their ignorance of Constitutional priciples, Congress role to validify the qualifications of appointees, can hardly be accepted when these attempts are to protect former legislative actions of the court, to implement laws which arent Constitutional at all.

      Its time for liberal supporters to call for their politicians to participate in the process, or reject them all together.

      I have made my feelings clear, that nothing will bring liberals which can be easily identified as power mad, to the table of cooperation opting instead the continued pursuit of dictatorial implementation of their own ideas. There is nothing that can be done with most of these because they come from districts that will elect them for life.
      All we can do is kick them to the curb of iirelevence so that we can ALL sit at the solution table and begin to solve our problems together. Not to discard the liberal ideas of entitlement, but to find wayts of making them work, fair to all, void of govt watse, to which these cretain liberal ideologist only serve as a distraction.

      We can make SS more solvent simply by holding corp pension plans to the promise of their words. By holding corps accountable for the healthcare of workers, bottom to top, for their lives commited to the success of their employers, healthcare can be improved.

      There are lots of things that can be done to improve entitlement programs, make them work efficiently, and be all inclusive as the American people deserve. We cant get this done spending our time seeking sound bites for media consumption. It requires focus and dedication, not politicing or devisive sloganeering. The longer the delay, the more difficult the solutions, the more Americans become at risk.
      The American people deserve better. Give it a try. If conservative scroogies, desiring to eliminate entitlements all together, want to join the fray with such tactics of politicism, they too can join our mouth happy liberals at the curb.
      This conservative will hang the pacard of Scrooge around their necks and will not allow them to hijack the principles of conservatism being the moral implementation of policy, a tact Democrats should have taken not allowing liberal ideologist steal the principles of liberal thinking and eventually the party itself, to be used as tools of their own ambition.

      all is my opinion

    • Another issue contributing to high health costs.

      "80 plus percent of all illness is lifestyle related.,"

      Smoking is popular to beat up, so we'll use it. Some insurance premiums are affected by by smoker, non- smoker. By enlarge, where the costs are really painful, in the outlay, payers, insurance companies, the govt, etc. pay the same regardless of one's choice of lifestyle. Smokers far and away bigger users of health care than nonsmokers.
      Perhaps lifestyle choices should be considered in paying for heathcare rather than paying for insurance?
      Education is working inhelping more people choose a healthier lifestyle, and the education is relatively cheap. Not to a degree that cuts into healthcare cost all that much but well worth its costs IMO. I do believe that contributing to paying for the cost of our lifestyle choices would be MUCH MORE incentive for us to choose healthier lifestyles making that impact on healthcare cost much greater, as well as paying for those choices reducing the outlay of providers cutting costs as well.

      We are beginning to make our list now, we will be checking it more than twice, and just in time for Christmas!

      So far
      1. tort reform
      2. non-coverage for retirees
      3. lifestyle
      4. none competition agreements with local authorities
      5. out of control pricing by providers
      6. out of control pricing by providers of providers
      7. govt waste
      8. lack of interest in solving root cause issues

      all is my opinion

    • ****I know some working class people who are afraid to retire due to losing health benefits and the cost of replacing them.****

      This is another key issue of my original post, to provide healthcare for all, fairly, without taxes as direct payment.

      All have contibuted to Americas ability to create success, and the successful have a responsibility of recognizing that contribution and in turn contributing to a certain level of entitled healthcare for all. That is, as a society. To set the moral standard, its the right thing to do. For benefit of those opposed to Uni-Health, so am I. All Americans being covered is morally correct, and IS conservative. The liberal issue is for us to turn over to govt the trillion$$$ to manage, to which that answer is NO WAY! We want to solve this WITHOUT taking that route.

      The issue above is an employee, directly contributing to the success of a particular company, being left abndoned by that company, after what in some cases is a life long commitment to that company.

      NO, its not the responsibility of any government to provide that persons healthcare. The role of govt here would be to tell the employer that, "THAT AINT GONNA CUT IT, GO BACK AND GET IT RIGHT".

      One ingredient conspiquously missing in rising health cost, is the corporate world fighting that rise. Perhaps if they werent allowed to walk away from such resposibility they would be more inclined to participate. The govt should not be bailing them out on this, but encouraging them to stay in it, and solve it in the private sector.

      all is my opinion

    • BTW, there have been vaccines for Hep B and A, pneumoccal pneumonia and influenza since the polio vaccine. Probably some others that I can't think of offhand.

      ---

      Here's a very incomplete timeline.

      Since the introduction of vaccinia by Jenner 200 years ago ("vaccination" in its true sense), nine major diseases of man have been controlled to a greater or lesser extent through the use of vaccines (Table 1.). Several other vaccines have been used in individuals at risk from disease of such as rabies and plague, but have not been systematically applied on a global scale. While BCG has been widely administered to newborns, thus successfully preventing complications such as meningitis and miliary tuberculosis, administration of the vaccine has not resulted in control of the disease.

      Table 1. The date of introduction of first generation of vaccines for use in humans*

      * 1798 Smallpox
      * 1885 Rabies
      * 1897 Plague
      * 1923 Diphtheria
      * 1926 Pertussis
      * 1927 Tuberculosis (BCG)
      * 1927 Tetanus
      * 1935 Yellow Fever

      After World War II

      * 1955 Injectable Polio Vaccine (IPV)
      * 1962 Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV)
      * 1964 Measles
      * 1967 Mumps
      * 1970 Rubella
      * 1981 Hepatitis B


      *This list is not exhaustive. After Plotkin SA and Mortimer EA Plotkin SA & Mortimer EA (Eds). Vaccines. Philadelphia WB Saunders, 1994.

    • "Let's start by realizing that there haven't been any vaccines for serious diseases since what Polio? I'm probably wrong and 'serious diesase' is debatable, but it sure does seem that it's only symptoms treatment."

      You could take it a step further and say too that probably 80 plus percent of all illness is lifestyle related., eg. diabetes (type II), cardiovascular disease, most lung disease, some cancers and high-risk behavior, etc. So, we should be putting a whole lot more effort into prevention. But then that would cut into the profits of big pharma, Burger King, etc. ect. etc. Let's face it, our present society has it's collective head up it's collective butt. But it is what it is.

      BTW, there have been vaccines for Hep B and A, pneumoccal pneumonia and influenza since the polio vaccine. Probably some others that I can't think of offhand.

    • "seller distributing the goods at the maximum the market will bear"
      =============================================
      I am FOR this in terms absolute.

      I do not consider goods and services that benefit from govt funds as being any part of any "MARKET". Noone, absolutely noone, no insurance company, no private citizen, not even a corporation or collaboration thereof, can compete for such goods and services with a govt that can will its own revenues and wildly throw them away without concern for being thrifty.

      The govt does not belong in healthcare except to enforce the fair dispersion thereof. Im trying to take the conversation to;

      "Govt wasteful spending through welfare, medicaid, and medicare, is one of teh most highly inflationary reasons for the high cost of healthcare. Under the guise of "helping people" teh med industry is presented an open barrel of pork and told "help yourself".
      When the barrel is empty LIBERALS want to grab the wages of America to fill it back up. Scrooges want to say its gone, leaving to sick to fend for themselves. Neither is acceptable.

      all is my opinion

    • ****I know some working class people who are afraid to retire due to losing health benefits and the cost of replacing them.****

      Very well said....

      ---

      It's true. And my wife was telling me about another one the other day, an older woman sort of middle rung where my wife works. The woman has been working since time began. She has a very good retirement built up, so good that she actually loses a bit of income by working, i.e. she'd get a bit more from her pension, BUT while her health benefits are "banked" to last for a few years in retirement, they'll eventually run out (and, of course, it's when she's older that she'll most likely need them most). So she keeps on working. And she shouldn't. She's old and tired, and the job needs young blood in it, anyway.

    • camel;
      i don't want to be disrespectful all the time.
      with all due respect i understand your point.
      but the big health relief;was to start with clinton;after all those of years waited by the public.
      again,you might say it's a political push by me,NOT really.
      and again we are at stand point still since his promises.
      yet 8 years not enough for any president to do so;they get burned;tough job to do.
      i believe it was hard also in the past generation presidents to do so also;but if they only had the means.
      the only time they did something right was after the ww2,OR around it.social security;now it's working against us.we copy of the EU;THEY COPY OF US.:))
      funny feeling no one has either of the solution.:)).

    • ****I know some working class people who are afraid to retire due to losing health benefits and the cost of replacing them.****

      Very well said....

      Oz

    • true also.:))
      i wish........ehh!!

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