Start with reforming malpractice suits

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Regarding Doris Crutchfield's letter to the editor ("We need health care; Obama can deliver," July 24):

I'm sure we're all certain of that, providing all of the Senate Democrats cave in to this obviously outrageous plan that has been deemed by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office to be an unsustainable economic disaster.

In addition to the enormous tax burden the authors plan to levy on small business owners, the very people who provide the lion's share of the nation's employment, its implementation would effectively force private insurers out of business, as they would be unable to compete with a government-run system that can print money at its whim.

This is an effort by this administration to take control of yet another aspect of our lives, our health care industry, in which politicians would decide what procedures and treatments doctors would be allowed to perform.

Any medical practitioner familiar with socialized medicine abroad will tell you horror stories of how well it works there.

Our health care system is certainly in need of tweaking to reduce costs, but not a bloated government taxpayer assault and takeover such as President Obama envisions.

A good place to start would be to enforce reasonable and realistic limits on awards in malpractice suits.

Current data indicate there are about 47 million Americans without any kind of health insurance -- 15 percent of the U.S. population of 307 million. If the cost of malpractice insurance were significantly reduced, perhaps health coverage could be brought within the means of a good portion of that 15 percent.

Terrence Bedell

Appling

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opiner
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opiner 07/31/09 - 06:34 am
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Mr Bedell, about 6 million of

Mr Bedell, about 6 million of the 47 million are legal residents who really can't afford health care, for whatever reason. That makes the number of uninsured legal residents about 2% of the population. Not nearly as bad as the left wing panic figures the government promotes.

TechLover
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TechLover 07/31/09 - 06:48 am
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Mr Bedell- The current health

Mr Bedell- The current health care plan provides isurance, not "socialized medicine abroad' as you describe it. Ga passed malpractice reform in 2005. From Friday, June 16, 2006, Augusta Chronicle ;"Six of the state's top insurers of doctors and dentists have increased their liability rates - in some cases, by more than a third - since new restrictions on malpractice cases became law in Feburary 2005". Also a government study found:"that in Georgia, family insurance purchased through an employer will cost $22796 in 2016, an increase of 111 percent above 2006". From May 5, 2009, Georia Injury Law-"A new report by non-profit organization Public Citizen has placed Georgia on the list of ten worst states based on doctor discipline records. The report takes into consideration the numbers of disciplinary actions taken by the state's boards of medical examiners against negligent physicians." They also :"found that 4.8 percent of doctors in the United States (40,118) who have paid two or more malpractice awards to patients are responsible for 51.1 percent of all the reports made to the Data Bank." If doctors would police their own better, the rates for the good ones would decline.

TechLover
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TechLover 07/31/09 - 06:54 am
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opi:The number of people

opi:The number of people under age 65 without health insurance at some point in 2007 and 2008.
Number uninsured Percent uninsured
Georgia 2,929,000 34
South Carolina 1,301,000 34.2
U.S. 86.7 million 33.1
Source: Families USA, April 8, 2009 Augusta Chronicle.

Tujeez1
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Tujeez1 07/31/09 - 07:05 am
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Since you seem to have the

Since you seem to have the facts Tech Lover, can you tell us the field of speciality that these doctors practice in from highest percentage to lowest? Sometimes, one's view get skewed, when you omit facts to prove a certain point.

opiner
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opiner 07/31/09 - 07:11 am
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TL, the number of uninsured

TL, the number of uninsured (group one) and the number of legal residents who can't afford insurance (group two) aren't the same number. Using the number for group one to indicate the needs of group two is "disingenuous" at best.

slippery 25
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slippery 25 07/31/09 - 08:58 am
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Terrence You are so right any

Terrence You are so right any honest effort to reform Health Care must include tort reform.

disssman
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disssman 07/31/09 - 09:12 am
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I agree we need to limit

I agree we need to limit liability of malpractice, but, we also need to limit the cost that a doctor can charge. Remember, the doc's are trained in facilities that are paid for by taxpayers. Perhaps if Mr. Bedell went in to have his tonsils removed and woke up with a leg missing, he would have a different opinion of malpractice limits. And believe me it happens every day that someoone in America receives a botched operation.

mad_max
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mad_max 07/31/09 - 09:58 am
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There are MANY ways

There are MANY ways healthcare costs COULD be reduced without limiting quality or access. The Democrats are not interested in reducing the cost of healthcare. They are interested in INCREASING the cost to the government. As usual, the Democrat approach is whichever way will RAISE TAXES THE MOST. The Democrats will NEVER consider TORT REFORM which would offend one of their largest group of CONTRIBUTORS....LAWYERS. They will also NEVER try to reduce MEIDCARE FRAUD because it is a primary business to another large group of their constituents. The Democrat plan is NOT about providing good healthcare, especially to seniors. It is about keeping plenty of TAX REVENUE in the system for LAWYERS and FRAUD and making sure illegal aliens and people who CHOOSE not to buy health insurance get their shot are YOUR TAX MONEY. When Democrats spout their number of "uninsured" in this country please remember, illegal aliens and people who CHOOSE not to buy insurance are the largest part of that number.

southernguy08
580
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southernguy08 07/31/09 - 10:00 am
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Gee, DISSMAN, and
Unpublished

Gee, DISSMAN, and quarterbacks and runningbacks for the NFL work in facilities paid for by the taxpayers as well. Do you want to put a cap on their salaries? Yeah, tell Deon Sanders to forget about that 5 million dollar bonus if he resigns. Doctors don't work for the government, and if we limit what they can earn, we'll see the same exodus of good physicians to other countries that Europe, Canada, and Australia have experienced. Most of them came here. Do you wonder why? They can leave just as easily. Do you want that?

_fullmetaljacket_
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_fullmetaljacket_ 07/31/09 - 10:45 am
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Start with denying health

Start with denying health care to illegal alliens!

justthefacts
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justthefacts 07/31/09 - 11:17 am
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Tu/Opiner, are you saying TL

Tu/Opiner, are you saying TL quoted out of context??!! What's new?

The Ode
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The Ode 07/31/09 - 11:59 am
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TL - the government has no

TL - the government has no business providing healthcare (except to active/verteran military) or even health insurance to the masses. Why doesn't the government provide car, life, or homeowners insurance? It is absurd. Medicare and Medicaid along with all entitlements are absurd in my opinion but why won't the government start reforming what is already in place in the VA, Medicare, and Medicaid? The old get Medicare. The poor get Medicaid and emergency rooms are abused thanks to the 1986 Congress and their EMTALA legislation. Illegal aliens deserve nothing so all of this hullabaloo is over the middle and lower/middle class who have a sad history of living way beyond their means and wanting bailouts. Sorry. Make better decisions, accept the consequences of your decisions and learn to take care of yourself.

nofanofobama
8330
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nofanofobama 07/31/09 - 12:03 pm
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no health care bill passed

no health care bill passed til medicare is properly run and the dear politicians that so desperately want to pass this are included in the coverage without exception and the small percentage that are truly in need of coverage can be covered without bankrupting the country we dont need big govt cradle to grave coverage if we get it will it will probably be the grave that much quicker.

imdstuf
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imdstuf 07/31/09 - 12:07 pm
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Insurance companies already

Insurance companies already decide what medical care we get, not the doctors. Wake up Mr. Bedell and stop listening to Rush Limbaugh. Even Fox's Greta Van whatever the heck her name is pointed out to fat boy that there ARE ALREADY LIMITS on malpractice suites. Private insurance companies are neither small businesses, nor are they going to go out of business. They are giant corporations making giant profits, and the profits are not from supply and demand. Go study and stop listening to a glutenous drug addict.

SC-LSU-Fan
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SC-LSU-Fan 07/31/09 - 12:07 pm
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"Make better decisions,

"Make better decisions, accept the consequences of your decisions and learn to take care of yourself." This is what's wrong with our society today. People don't have to make sound decisions because they're not made to accept the consequences for those decisions.

The Ode
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The Ode 07/31/09 - 12:30 pm
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Part of the problem of why

Part of the problem of why they can't make sound decisions is the Dept of Education's success in dumbing down schools and eliminating critical thinking all in the name of fairness. But that is for another day...

_fullmetaljacket_
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_fullmetaljacket_ 07/31/09 - 12:41 pm
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Im, what kind of insurance do

Im, what kind of insurance do you have, medicaid? I don't seem to have a probelm getting the treatment I need!

Tujeez1
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Tujeez1 07/31/09 - 12:52 pm
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Imdstuf...What part of

Imdstuf...What part of RATIONING BY GOVERMENT APPOINTED OVERSIGHT do you not understand? We did NOT say that we are against healthcare reform. This is not reform, this is take-over by an entity that has never ran any program without failure. Look at Social Security, medicare, medicaid, education, they cannot even hold non fraudulent elections. And we are to just hand over the reins to all of healthcare to the government? Surely there are better options.

_fullmetaljacket_
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_fullmetaljacket_ 07/31/09 - 01:10 pm
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im, google HR3200 and read it

im, google HR3200 and read it in its entirity, then get back to me so you can carry on an intelligent conversation!

imdstuf
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imdstuf 07/31/09 - 01:21 pm
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Make better decisions? Like

Make better decisions? Like going to college only to get out and find out there are not enough jobs because these great companies people say will provide jobs to us if we give them tax breaks have really outsourced tons of jobs, moved many operations oversees or hire temps that get no benefits? Hmmm, sounds like some people are too old to know what goes on these days or have never really lived in the real world(born into money and never not had to struggle for it due to family and connections..ie given jobs not earning them, etc).

_fullmetaljacket_
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_fullmetaljacket_ 07/31/09 - 01:51 pm
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im, you are acting the fool

im, you are acting the fool again, why have companies moved overseas? Would it because of the heavy burden the govn't has put on them so that they can't make a profit. Talk to one of your ol hero's "Clinton" about this!

southernguy08
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southernguy08 07/31/09 - 02:03 pm
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Gee, IMDSTUF, do you think
Unpublished

Gee, IMDSTUF, do you think raising taxes on these corporations will make them stay here and provide you with a job? As far as people too old to know what goes on these days, or born into money and never had to struggle for it due to family and connections, are you referring to the Democratic senators Ted Kennedy or Jay Rockefeller?

justthefacts
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justthefacts 07/31/09 - 03:16 pm
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Somebody's got a big ole chip

Somebody's got a big ole chip on their shoulder, ha.

KSL
191439
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KSL 07/31/09 - 03:44 pm
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disssman. Not all medical

disssman. Not all medical schools are paid for by taxpayers. Just wanted to be sure you knew that.

Steve Wylie
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Steve Wylie 07/31/09 - 04:46 pm
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I tend to agree with the

I tend to agree with the author. The idea of reforming healthcare is incomplete if malpractice reform is purposely removed from the argument. It only seems reasonable that lawsuits impact the profits of insurance companies which must subsequently impact the cost of the insurance and the coverage provided. This protection and obfuscation of such an obvious problem will likely contribute to the overall failure of healthcare reform.

_fullmetaljacket_
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_fullmetaljacket_ 07/31/09 - 04:46 pm
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I see where Dodd has prostate

I see where Dodd has prostate cancer and wants surgery. Whoa, what does he get under obama dumbo's plan. Oh, he is too old for surgery--he gets assisted sucidide planning instead!

imdstuf
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imdstuf 07/31/09 - 05:33 pm
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Southern, even when given tax

Southern, even when given tax breaks they leave. Not naming names, but I know first hand of a company, who had a factory in Michigan, and they were being offered all kinds of tax breaks to stay, yet they closed that factory and opened one in Mexico because even with the tax breaks the pennies on the hour labor just cannot be beat. The current heads of companies do not care that eventually if no one in America is making money that they will not be able to sell their goods in the future because current heads of companies are just in it for the short term.

_fullmetaljacket_
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_fullmetaljacket_ 07/31/09 - 05:43 pm
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That is the point IM, it is

That is the point IM, it is not only tax breaks, it is all the goven't regulations. Companies in the US cannot compete with worldwide trade. Why you think practically everyting you pick up is made in China. You think it is bad now, just wait until obama dumbo and his band of congressional thieves passes cap and trade. US companies will be penalized for green house gasses, but do you think China and India will be. I am not knocking you, but I swear, you need to educate your self on these issues.

_fullmetaljacket_
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_fullmetaljacket_ 07/31/09 - 05:46 pm
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You do know, if every one who

You do know, if every one who is physically able to work was doing such, even at mininum wage, if only sweeping streets and picking up trash, and paying taxes. We would not be in the state we are now!

NoPartyFan
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NoPartyFan 07/31/09 - 08:34 pm
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Most people, about 177

Most people, about 177 million, have health care with their company. 80 million have government or government subsidized insurance (medicare, medicaid, government employees - including congress, and the military). Only 27- 29 million buy their own. And of course, there's the 45 million without. People like their company provided plans because the company subsidizes it in the same way that taxpayers subsidize health plans for Congress. Who wouldn't want to keep their plan if they can get the company to pay for half of it? I'm certainly grateful for what I have. I don't think that you can really count on the company being there indefinitely. People change jobs. Companies cut costs. The baby boomers are retiring. The new hire replacements aren't getting the same benefits. There may be a lot not to like about the health care plan but there's also a lot not to like about current insurers. They don't like to insure sick people, just the healthy ones and if you don't have a company plan, it's too expensive.

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