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The Republican Party, cults and their money

Use to be people thought of the Moonies as a cult. But now, thanks, in part, to George and Barbara Bush who get $100K a pop for giving pro Moonie speeches, they are not perceived that way. For starters see GOP and Straight; GOP and Scientology™; FACTNET.

Friday, April 09, 2004

Bill Frist and The Doctors' Ad in Wednesday's Washington Post

By Wesley Fager (c) Friday April 9, 2004

A woman in Michigan had a mammogram. She was told she had cancer in both breasts and that they would have to be removed to save her life. After her breasts were removed the woman was told a mistake had been made; the medical reviewer had inadvertently looked at the slides of another patient. The woman's breasts had actually been fine. This was not a malicious act; nevertheless how do you compensate someone for such a grievous error. A physician in Virginia took feces from her patients and injected the material into the blood stream of her patients. Now that's malicious. How much do you compensate someone for such outrageous behavior committed on them?

President George Bush has said some dumb things in his life and one of the dumbest is his plan for capping medical malpractice suits. The President has said that SOME medical malpractice suits are frivolous, therefore let's put a ceiling of $250,000 in damages on ALL medical malpractice suits. Some are frivolous so let's limit all. That's not logical. It's just plain stupid. That's $125,000 a breast, automatic, never more, maybe less?

The Republican Party represents big business. Doctors are big business so they went to George Bush and Jeb Bush and said look, malpractice judgments are cutting into our profit. It's cheaper for us to give your campaign a lot of money to protect us than to pay it to our patients when we screw up. The Bush boys readily agreed.

Did you read yesterday's Washington Post. Doctors for Medical Liability Reform took out a full page ad on page A28 titled "What Do Democrats Have Against Patients? Trial Lawyers. That's What." "The surgical gloves have come off" the ad proclaims telling us that doctors are finally fighting back for you. "Doctors and their patients apparently don't count" [italics mine] the ad says as if it is in our best interest not to sue a doctor when he screws up. Doctor's and their patients? This is so typical Republican Party scheming. It's like exporting American customer services jobs to India by big American businesses and claiming the businesses themselves had nothing to do with it. Doctors and the Republican Party are trying to help doctors and the Republican Party make more money and they want you to believe it is for your own good. The ad is directed specifically to newspaper people like an editor who won't be able find help for the "mangled" body of his son unless ceilings are placed on ALL medical malpractice suits.
The real story was on page A5 of the Post. That one by Helen Dewar is about Senate Majority leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.). Senator Frist is a medical doctor. His father and brother run the giant hospital chain Hospital Corporation of America (HCA). Frist's job in the Senate seems to be passing legislation to cap malpractice suits. The Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights of Santa Monica, Ca. has asked the Senate's ethics committee to investigate to see whether Senator Frist improperly promoted legislation to limit medical malpractice suits. In its letter to the ethics committee the foundation noted that HCA owns Health Care Indemnity, the nation's sixth-largest medical malpractice insurance company.

Related article:
The State of the Union: Scientologists, Moonies, Doctors and Iraq, an editorial by Wesley Fager