I'm retired now, but as a former lawyer, I simply must speak out in opposition to the various health care proposals that are being bandied about. It used to be said that what was good for GM was good for America. I submit that the more appropriate slogan in this day and age is that what's good for lawyers is good for America.

Right now the American system of health care proudly denies service to 40 to 50 million people, depending on your source. The great majority of them don't need health care anyway. Our system has always worked on the free market ideal that if you have what it takes, you'll achieve your goals. If you don't, then you can fall by the wayside. This philosophy has made this country great for over two centuries. Why change it now?

If you're one of those 40-50 million that gets injured or sick, what do you do? We currently have in place a system that seems to work quite well for these disadvantaged. They sue somebody! Who represents them? A lawyer! Who represents the person or company they sue? Another lawyer! If they can successfully pin the blame for their injury or illness on some one else, not only do they win a big bucket of money (perhaps enough to pay off a percentage of the amount owed to doctors and hospitals), but so does their lawyer. And remember, when they and their lawyer spend their winnings on a new car, house, or other big ticket item, everyone in the community benefits!

Let's not forget malpractice lawsuits! There's a ton of money to be made out there by sharp lawyers and, thank goodness, a generous number of bumbling physicians and hospitals. Not only do lawyers make money representing litigants, but lawyers represent the doctors and hospitals as well. It's a win-win situation!

There's always the risk that you can't blame your illness on some one else, or, God forbid, you lose your malpractice lawsuit. Fortunately, the American system has a built-in remedy: bankruptcy court. Who says we in America do not provide for everyone? Two thirds (!) of the people in this country who file for bankruptcy do so because of medical bills. And who represents the bankrupt in court? Of course, your friendly neighborhood lawyer! Who represents all the bankrupt's creditors? Who gets appointed as the trustee in bankruptcy? Of course, more lawyers! And remember, every dollar each of those lawyers earns goes right back into the community!

It's reported that 46% of uninsured people under the age of 30 are carrying medical debt. That's terrific! It gives our young people an appreciation for the value of a dollar and teaches them the virtues of wise budgeting.

As we all know, our health insurance companies publish elaborate contract-booklets, usually several dozen pages in length, outlining all the reasons why they can deny coverage, regardless of the merit of the claim. Who writes these lengthy tomes? You guessed it. Each health insurance company hires hundreds of people whose job it is to reject claims from doctors and hospitals. When the patient has the bad grace to protest denial of coverage, who is it that on behalf of the health insurance company researches the fine print and comes up with a reason why not to provide coverage? You guessed it. Twenty five to thirty cents of each one of our health insurance premium dollars goes to pay for the livelihoods of these rejecters and lawyers. It would be un-American to simply throw them out of work!

Fortunately, we in America have the best Congress money can buy. It's heartwarming to know that last quarter alone, instead of squandering our health care premiums on doctors and hospitals, our health insurance companies spent almost 40 million (!) of these premium dollars on lobbyists. Can you guess what professional education many of those lobbyists have received?? Their job of course is to line the pockets of our elected representatives. Can you guess what job many of these politicians used to have before being elected to represent our best interests?

There are some malcontents out there who propose that we follow the example of left-leaning countries such as those found in western Europe, the UK, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, and other Marxist-Leninist places by providing universal medical coverage. Terrible! Those countries spend a paltry average of 10% of their personal incomes on health care. We in the U.S., on the other hand, are proud to spend 18% and rising on health care. These naive malcontents claim we could have one of the best universal health care systems in the world. But think of the costs!!! Think of the subsequent loss of jobs here in the states: thousands of claims rejecters, dozens of lobbyists, and hundreds of lawyers would have to look for different lines of work. You would have a bureaucrat, instead of a claims rejector, standing between you and your doctor! This would be unacceptable! and certainly not the American way!

9 replies »

  1. Let’s get our heads out of our _ _ _ _ _; we know there is a huge problem and I am all for a “universal health care plan” that applies equally to all…including the GOVERNMENT!

  2. Its all quite fascinating…this preoccupation with handing off the care for the most important thing in our life, our lives, to others.
    Its time we take responsibility for our own life. At the very least, lets pay docs as long as they help us maintain optimal health. But truly, the power is in our hands, the tools to do so already here. Its a matter of how we chose to prioritize. After all, time is money, But if we focused on prevention, and fixed our London Bridges before they fell down, we’d find little need to hand off our health to some system who has little at stake if we live or die.

  3. A question was posed to the Qfever Advisory Board about why physicians in the United States face a high rate of medical malpractice lawsuits. How can they protect themselves?
    1. “La torte, c’est delicieux, non?” Tort law is out of control in the United States. Custard is a completely unregulated commodity in our country.
    2. Lawsuits ain’t been as big a problem in tree surgery as in, say, plastic surgery or neurosurgery. I think it’s just a different clientele.
    3. If your doctor chops off the wrong limb, that’s no reason to sue him or her. Our Lord says forgive, forgive and forget. And if you’re a patient, your leg may grow back yet.
    4. There’s very little that a cunningly forged informed consent form won’t excuse.
    5. Try not to confuse warm-blooded and cold-blooded patients. Their medical needs are very different.

  4. Kevgoali, you didn’t say if those CT scan wait times were for stat, emergency or urgent cases; or just a routine look-n-see. I don’t know who pays for your health insurance and if you are concerned about unsustainable costs, but what does this article on “Medical Migration” mean to you and does it say the the U.S. system is a failure, as you are saying “wait times” means Canada’s system is a failure.

  5. It cracks me up when people cite “Personal Income” percentage when comparing US healthcare to more socialist plans… Their “out of pocket” claims never figure in the extra INCOME TAXES those citizens pay. Ask someone from Sweden or Denmark what tax percentage they pay and you will see where they get all this “FREE” healthcare. Oh, and by the way, all those countries have chronic +10% unemployment rates at all times. Don’t get me going on how their governments “manage” your health care either.
    Look in the parking lot of any Michigan hospital and see all the Canadian license plates from the people that want their cat scan TODAY and not 3 months from now. You’ll get the idea of how great government does health care. Do you really like the so called workers at the DMV and post office? That’s what you’re going to get! Enjoy….

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