Thursday, September 03, 2009

Updates (SCOTUS, Snyder, Tort Reform, tea party)

A few things to mention.

The Hill mentions that Justice Stevens may retire next year. That would be bad. We don't need the jerk in chief who despises the constitution to pick any more replacements. I think the 2nd pick will be more radical and maybe even more statist than Sotomoyer.

The Argus reprinted a Free Press Editorial on Rick Snyder. I find it interesting that for all of Snyder's talk about not being a politician, that he gives the most political answers out of anybody. Where's the specifics?

One thing not mentioned in any health care bill out there. Tort Reform. My defense leanings isn't limited to criminal defense, but civil tortuous defense as well. Politico has a good piece here from Newt Gingrich. One of the highest costs is malpractice insurance and the extra tests that are require because of malpractice claims. Not only are judgment costs passed over to patients, but so is the extra tests that are given to avoid those claims.

Defensive medicine is one of the largest contributors to wasteful spending, and it can manifest in many forms: unnecessary CT scans, x-rays, MRIs, cardiac testing and inappropriate hospital admissions. A 2005 survey in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 93 percent of doctors reported practicing defensive medicine. These unnecessary and expensive tests and procedures are not ordered to advance the care and treatment of a patient or help the physician diagnose a medical problem. These tests and procedures are ordered exclusively to protect a physician from a potential and likely frivolous lawsuit.

In a recent speech before the American Medical Association, even President Obama said that doctors shouldn’t “feel like they are constantly looking over their shoulder for fear of lawsuits.” The president recognized that defensive medicine is “a real issue” but there is nothing in the bill to protect physicians from frivolous lawsuits. And, there is nothing in the bill to help stop defensive medicine.

Lastly, September 8, 3:30 PM is the tea party in Brighton. There are also tea parties earlier in Jackson and later in Troy. I'm not sure if I can make it, but I'm just passing at along. A message needs to be sent that less government is more freedom. Lower taxes AND spending.


shirts4freedom said...

Tea Party shirts can be found at

Dan said...

"Defensive medicine is one of the largest contributors to wasteful spending, and it can manifest in many forms: unnecessary CT scans, x-rays, MRIs, cardiac testing and inappropriate hospital admissions."

I also think that too many tests are done because patients don't directly negotiate with doctors regarding what treatment they want and what tests their willing to pay for. The doctor often paternalistically tells you what treatment he's giving you and figures the bill part will be some third party insurance co's problem (when it still falls on the patient). When I 20, I had a sharp pain in my right foot and went to a clinic on campus at U of M for treatment. The first doctor ordered an x-ray, then an ultrasound, then an MRI. Me being a stupid kid, I never even thought about the costs. I later changed my address on campus and because of this I supposedly never received the bill at my new apartment until I got a call from a collection agency. The first doctor left U of M before he even bothered to discuss the test results in a follow-up visit. Eventually I met with another orthopedist there who mentioned that I had a cyst that made planting my foot at times feel painful. He also mentioned that the number of tests ordered by the first doctor were unneccessary if he had simply examined my foot more closely.

Dan said...

Regarding Stevens, at least Obama is only currently replacing other liberals on the court. The fact that they were Republican appointees (Souter and Stevens) is more the fault of Ford and Bush I for making those shitty appointments.

The media likes to bitch about how supposedly uber-conservative the Court is. But despite all of the Republican appointments the last 60years, the court only has a marginally conservative 5-4 majority.

Eisenhower appointed Brennen (Warren wasn't that bad compared to today's justices)

Nixon appointed Lewis Powell and Harry Blackmun

Ford appointed Stevens

Reagan: O'Connor was a moderate but in actuality she started off fairly decently and just got steadily worse over time.

Bush I: Souter

In reality, Bush II's appointments may be one of the few things he didn't fuck up during his presidency.