Poll: Weak support for Prop. 46, medical malpractice

Poll: Weak support for Prop. 46, medical malpractice

lawyers, Darkow, cagle, Sept. 16, 2014I usually don’t watch local TV news, which is about Los Angeles 45 miles away from Huntington Beach. But I watched NBC channel 4 yesterday night as a lead-in to Barbra Streisand on Jimmy Fallon’s show. Babs still is fabulous! (She stayed away from politics.)

Commercials included several anti-Proposition 46 ads. One showed a kindly, middle-aged doctor in a white lab coat saying how much it would increase medical costs. This is a typical doctors vs. trial lawyers battle. There were no ads last night from the trial lawyers.

It looks like the initiative is in trouble, according to a USC poll. The Los Angeles Times reported:

Among likely voters, 61% favored the measure, or leaned in that direction; 29% were opposed.

But that approval slid to 47% when respondents were told of high potential costs to the state — as well as possible savings — and opposition rose to 39%.

Backing eroded further when those surveyed heard both sides’ main campaign arguments. Support fell to 37%, with 50% opposed.

The initiative’s main part would increase the cap on malpractice damages, which has been $250,000 since 1975, to $1 million. The current limit has been one of the few sensible curbs on excess litigation in a state known to have too many lawsuits. But according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Inflation Calculator, $250,000 in 1975 is equal to $1.1 million today.

So Prop. 46’s increase in limits is reasonable. Except the proposition increases it too fast. They should have tried something smaller at first, say to $400,000.

Wording

Then the initiative, in typical California fashion, lards the wording with extra stuff supposedly to make it more attractive to voters:

  • Require drug and alcohol testing of doctors and reporting of positive tests to the California Medical Board.
  • Require the California Medical Board to suspend doctors pending investigation of positive tests and take disciplinary action if the doctor was found impaired while on duty.
  • Require health care practitioners to report any doctor suspected of drug or alcohol impairment or medical negligence.
  • Require health care practitioners to consult the state prescription drug history database before prescribing certain controlled substances.

It’s just more harassment of your doctor, who’s already suffering under a mountain of paperwork from Medicare, Medi-Cal, Covered California, etc.

Of course, we don’t want doctors drunk or high on the job. But this would be an intrusive attack on their integrity.

Maybe we should make the same requirements for trial lawyers.

Just kidding, counselors! But don’t be surprised if there’s retaliation from the sawbones.

12 comments

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  1. Queeg
    Queeg 16 September, 2014, 12:51

    There is better low hanging fruit than doctors….try globalists making tech trinkets in back allies and on Commissar compounds in China and ONLY hiring foreigners on the cheap domestically.

    Your super tasty corporate restaurant soup today came from a plastic bag made in Tennessee…..so fresh fresh fresh!

    How bout Atlantic Salmon from Peru or Alsakan Haddock from CHINA…..?

    Read your food labels…….ask what is “white fish” in your restaurant fish and chips….it most likely is Gold Fish Talapia…..Ciao

    Reply this comment
  2. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 16 September, 2014, 13:06

    So they want to randomly drug and alcohol test medical doctors with 11 or more years of higher education but claim it’s an invasion of privacy to force a cop with a gun and a badge with a HS education to submit to same! hah.

    But these are all economic villians. The medical industry wrote the laws of ObamaCare and then payed legal bribes (campaign donations) to the pols to sign it. Go look at the increase in total contributions paid by the medical industry to our congressional reps following the introduction of the ACA proposal by Obama. Nearly a straight vertical line on the political contribution charts. That’s the reason ObamaCare won’t make a dent in medical costs. You can’t blame it on legal costs anymore with the malpractice cap of $250,000. If a surgeon removes your good kidney and leaves the cancerous one inside your body it’s good for is $250,000? No wonder it’s practically impossible to find a medical malpractice attorney today. To try such a case it would cost $250,000 (or more) just to litigate it!

    Have you ever wondered why there is no price list in your doctor’s office? What would you do if you walked into a grocery store or a drug store and none of the items were marked with a price and the clerk told you that you had to buy a product to find out how much it cost. Would you stay in the store?

    Have you ever been to Europe and purchased prescription medicines in the free market? I have. US made pharmaceuticals are a third to half the price that you would pay for the same prescription at CVS. Have you ever wondered why? Congress has rigged the system and outlawed the reimportation of US made pharmaceuticals. It is illegal for you to order your medicines from Canada at half the price!!! LOL. 😀 Naturally, the pharma company lobbyists wrote that law too!!! LOL. 😀

    Everyone I’ve spoken with who pays for their health insurance have seen their rates INCREASE under ObamaCare with fewer benefits!!!

    The gov gets their fines. The medical industry gets their windfalls. The indigents all get free medical care. If you work for a living you get screwed!

    Reply this comment
  3. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 16 September, 2014, 13:44

    “How bout Atlantic Salmon from Peru or Alsakan Haddock from CHINA…..?”

    Yep. Go price the nutrient deficient FARMED RAISED salmon at your typical US supermarket. $10-$15 per pound.

    Yet when I go to the independent asian supermarkets I can get whole OCEAN salmon for $3 per pound. Fresh too! They even chop it up for me for free. The US supermarkets refuse to slice $9/pound whole salmon. I have to take it home and do it myself!

    But people chastise me and say I should be a patriot and “buy American”. Go figure! 🙂

    If a small independent ethnic grocery store can sell me the same fish for a third of the price and provide better customer service why would I buy American?

    And why can’t these massive inter-state American chain stores match the prices in these small independent ethnic grocery stores? What ever happened to the theory of “economies of scale” we learned in school?

    Reply this comment
  4. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 16 September, 2014, 16:51

    The other day I was talking to an acquaintance of a relative about health care. She qualified for Medi-Cal under ObamaCare but previously had insurance with a large well-known private medical provider in California. She told me that she gets much better medical care now than she did under the previous provider and doesn’t pay a red cent for it. No copays. No premiums. Emergency care? Free. And if she wants to see a specialist the primary care doc makes an immediate referral. She said she had to practically pull teeth to get a specialist referral from her previous provider. And she gets great care from the Medi-Cal primary doc who does lots of tests that the private provider never ordered. All her blood labs are free. For a complete blood panel with the private provider she had to pay a $125 co-pay.

    No wonder Medi-Cal enrollment has soared!!! What’s not to love about it???

    Reply this comment
  5. californianative
    californianative 17 September, 2014, 16:34

    I am a physician. If you think physicians are the problem with health care you are barking up the wrong tree. Physicians are responsible for 9% of Health Care spending. I know, I know, you are going to say, but doctors order everything. What about the 30% of health care spending that goes towards administration ( ie insurance companies and such)? What about medical device makers? What about big pharma? Medicare part D, the biggest corporate give away any lobbyist could jigger out of a bought Congress. Go ahead, throw all the MD’s in jail or make ’em drive taxi. Who’s going to take your ready to rupture appendix out at 2:00 am? It ain’t Obama and his minions. Maybe your local fire/police ” provider”? The ” RAGWUS” ain’t got nothing on the Gov’t- Insurance-Big Pharma Cabal.

    Reply this comment
  6. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 17 September, 2014, 17:40

    “I am a physician. If you think physicians are the problem with health care you are barking up the wrong tree.”

    Hey doc, I’ve got nothing againt medical doctors. Lots of you do good work. And you had to work hard for many years to get your license. So I have no bone to pick with you.

    When you get the extra time you should research how the AMA lobbied the politicians to pass ObamaCare. The AMA is a large group of medical doctors. Look into how much money the AMA spent on campaign contributions leading up the the ACA vote. So many physicians ARE part of the problem whether you want to admit it or not.

    I challenge you to put a price list in your lobby for your patients to review prior to consulting with you. Why not act like a regular business? If I walked into a store and none of the items were marked with a price I would walk out. Why should you and your colleagues get special consideration?

    I never said that medical doctors were the ENTIRE problem. If you read my comments you noticed I referred to pharma and the huge medical corporations that include device makers, insurance companies, hospitals, HMOs, etc….

    Big government is the biggest problem. They take bribes from all of the forementioned (to include from the AMA) and reward you by giving the medical industry monopolistic powers that no other industry is allowed.

    Why does the AMA keep the population of physicians artificially low causing excess demand resulting in elevated medical costs? The AMA regulates the enrollment in the medical schools. We have one of the highest patient to doctor ratios in the world. I know people with EXCELLENT insurance who must wait 1-2 months to see a specialist in the wealthiest nation on earth. Then people talk about the long waits in Canada!!! HAH!

    Previously I provided anecdotal information about a Medi-Cal patient who gets medical treatment head and shoulders above the quality of care she got at her previous LARGE private healthcare provider in California. As a doctor, you are probably aware of this too. And Medi-Cal doesn’t cost her a thin dime. No copays. No premiums. No deductibles. All free. Soup to nuts.

    I know you folks work hard and have a ton of responsibility on your shoulders, doc. I respect your profession. Please don’t take my comments personally. But medical doctors must also do their part to take the bezzle out of the medical system. And you can start by complaining to the AMA.

    Reply this comment
  7. californianative
    californianative 17 September, 2014, 19:25

    The AMA has a very low membership. Most physicians despise the AMA. It is a self serving organization that does not represent the rank and file physicians. It exists to sell it’s CPT codes to the largest insurance company in the US ( Medicare- your government). It has a select group of physicians ( RUC) that collude with CMS to set the prices of services from a limited pie. The AMA does not listen to physicians, it’s really not there for them, sad to say….

    Reply this comment
  8. californianative
    californianative 17 September, 2014, 19:29

    If you accept Medicare ( most physicians treat old people, they are the ones that get sick) it is ILLEGAL for you to charge ANYONE less than you charge Medicare. ILLEGAL like fine you out the wazoo and/or THROW YOU IN JAIL ILLEGAL.

    Reply this comment
  9. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 17 September, 2014, 22:44

    “The AMA has a very low membership.”

    I wouldn’t call a membership of over 200,000 low. Would you? About one of every three physicians in the US belong to the AMA. It is by far the largest physician association in the nation. And it is 2nd only to the American Chamber of Commerce in it’s lobbying efforts directed toward government. As I stated before, the AMA supported ObamaCare. Why would a large organization that represents many medical doctors do such a thing? Based on those facts I would say that the AMA is an influential voice for US physicians. That’s why I suggested that you should confront them and complain if you disagree with their politics.

    Medical doctors are not forced to accept medicare or medicaid patients. That is the doctor’s choice. If you disagree with the reimbursement rates – don’t participate as a provider. Simple. Just take private pay patients.

    I think it there should be a law mandating physicians to post a price list for procedures in their lobbies. In America the consumer is supposed to be the king. How can we be the king when we don’t even know what the hell the prices are for services rendered until the bill comes in the mail 3 weeks later?

    Reply this comment
  10. californianative
    californianative 18 September, 2014, 17:43

    I wouldn’t call a 33% participation rate in a national organization that supposedly represents physicians ” overwhelming” support. Many of those physicians belong to take advantage of disability and other insurance programs. Your right, physicians are not forced to take medicare patients. Many already do not take medicaid. That’s why many medicare and medicaid patients use the nation’s emergency rooms for their care ( emergency room BY FEDERAL LAW cannot turn these patients away). So you and I the taxpayers get to pay for all of this care delivered in one of the most expensive venues available. The problems in health care are very complex and even as someone who works in the field will attest to it is so big, there are so many hands in the pot, that it truly is quite difficult to sort out right from wrong. I stick to my premise. If you got rid of all of the physician reimbursement in health care you would still have major problems. There are far bigger players involved ( follow the money) than the AMA and their ” hordes” of members.

    Reply this comment
    • LetitCollapse
      LetitCollapse 18 September, 2014, 20:26

      I didn’t say that physicians are the primary problem. But physicians are certainly part of the problem. I agree that the device makers, the pharma companies, the insurance companies, the hospital associations, etc… are the bulk of the problem. And, of course, big government is the ringleader.

      But you must admit. Physicians flirt with the device makers, the pharma companies, the insurance companies and the hospital associations. It appears to be one big happy incestuous family to me. I don’t see the physicians resisting. Do you?

      The government has given the medical industry monopolistic powers via laws paid for with bribes.

      That’s the reason we spend 20% of our GDP on health care while the EU nations spend about 12% of GDP on average.

      With that said, I have great respect for the physician community. You folks do most of the heavy lifting in our health care system and you worked hard to get to where you are. It’s not your fault the government and the corporations screwed up the system so badly.

      Reply this comment
  11. Randall Silver
    Randall Silver 7 October, 2014, 06:04

    If you think that it’s hard to see your Dr, just let Prop 46 make it to become law. B There will not be any Doctors there will only be PA’s and Practical Nurses practicing medicine, I don’t know about you but I like the idea of someone with more experience and knowledge diagnosing your’s and mine problem. Not to mention that the state of California and your local pharmacy will know your prescription history and will control what is or will not be prescribed for you. The CURES data base will grow exponentially and publish your private information.

    Reply this comment

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