Thursday, March 06, 2008

New Tort State II: Doctors Descend on Albany

When the doctors are taking buses to Albany to protest, you know something is up with health care in New York. It's hard for some to have sympathy for "rich" people, including doctors. Looking at the numbers involved, though, it's hard not to come to the conclusion that the government is both promoting lawsuits against doctors (see part I: link), and then screwing them with astronomical insurance rates begat by those same lawsuits.

Here are a couple of excerpts (link):

Hundreds of the protesting physicians from the five boroughs and Long Island hopped on an organized fleet of buses before dawn to make the upstate trek to lobby lawmakers poised to release a task-force report on the issues...

..."It was an historic day - there were 2,010 doctors . . . extremely galvanized for change," said Rick Abrams, executive director of the Medical Society of the State of New York, which spearheaded the rally.

Decrying what he called the "terribly, terribly unequal playing field" on which doctors are forced to compete against "behemoth insurance companies," Abrams said there were seven buses stuffed with Manhattan physicians alone to make the journey...

...The doctors' gripes included out-of-control malpractice suits and exorbitant malpractice insurance, which for obstetricians alone has risen about 70 percent - or to between $125,000 and $250,000 a year - in the past three years, organizers said.There also is the issue of the litigation system, Abrams said.

"The problem with the current system is that it's imprecise, it's just not predictable," he said.

"Not predictable," indeed. It looks like another case of New Tort State "killing the golden goose," with repurcussions on the poorest among us much worse than it's hurting the "rich" doctors it's apparently supposed to target. My sympathies are with the doctors and the poorest among us; my beef is with the corrupt NYS pols who set up this "squeeze play," regardless of party.

1 comment:

Doc99 said...

Save for those specialists who can avoid the Managed Care nightmare, the days of the "Rich Doctor" are over, especially if you factor in the number of hours worked per week, the residual 140K debt from med school, and the expenses of running an office. And just who is calling doctors rich? Trial lawyers like John Edwards?