1. TORT REFORM (Why do they call it this anyway - nobody knows what a tort is, let alone how to reform one):The cost of medical malpractice insurance is way too high - a cost passed onto the consumer (that's you, the patient). Why? Because lawyers sue at the drop of a hat. How many of us make mistakes (Torts)? All of us, and often. We're human and human beings make mistakes. Why should Doctors be any different? Yeah, if the paperboy throws your paper into the bushes instead of on your porch, the consequences are not the same as a Doctor, say, prescribing the wrong medicine.
Fully aware that predatory lawyers are waiting with a summons at the slightest mistake, medical practicianers are likely to be overly cautious in the treatment of patients. E.g. an emergency room patient complaining of chest pains is hospitalized for the weekend, and is run through a battery of expensive (and unnecessary) testing procedures - when the physician strongly believes the actual cause of his distress is the three pieces of pie the patient sheepishly admits having for dessert that evening. In many areas of this country, pregnant women haven't access to good pre-natal care. Why not? Because fewer oan fewer Medical Students are choosing the OBGYN Field. Whom may we thank for that? Remember Sen. John Edwards, John Kerry's Vice-Presidential running mate ? I know you do. Before he was
- This panel concludes that there needs to be a cap on the dollar awards given to injured patients. Rein in the lawyers. Lower costs.
2. DOCTOR SHORTAGES: The average practicing physician makes about $325,000 per year. They work long, hard hours. But part of the high income is created by a shortage of doctors. With baby-boomers retiring now, we will need far more Doctors, not fewer. Why a shortage? One reason is the internecine battles between universities over which schools get to have a medical school. Universities pay lobbyists to persuade Universities and lobbyists funnel campaign money to legislators who in turn vote down applications for new medical schools. In most countries this is called bribery - Sean Hannity calls it a Constitutional Right.
- This panel concludes that if, say, Florida Gulf Coast University wants to open a Medical School. the University of Miami or U. of Florida will just have to get over it. More medical schools, more doctors, lower costs.
3. COSTS: President Obama concludes that we can pay for his expensive Healthcare Program program by saving $90 Billion a year in Medicare waste and fraud. Really, Mr. Pres.? FYI: Dade and Broward Counties, Florida - population 4.5 million - provide more "free" power scooters than all of the State of California (pop: 33 million).
- This panel has three suggestions. One: Supply the F.B.I., Homeland Security; whomever, with flashlights so they can get their heads out of their asses; Two: Use the $90 Billion the abovementioned will save (Obama's estimate) and pay for the medical costs of the 30 million people who are uninsured, and Three: That old lady on TV who "didn't pay a penny out of pocket" for her scooter scam. Where is Richard Widmark when you need him?
4. NURSING SHORTAGES: While Filipino nurses were a comfort to me when I had stents put in some years ago, why can't we have home-grown nurses in our hospitals? Our politicians tell us the working conditions scare potential nurses from entering the profession. Nonsense. In their analyses, politicians err. What else is new? Nursing schools, like medical schools, turn away 50% of qualified applicants. Why? Because unlike Freshman Sociology classes, Nursing Classes are small, like 7 - 8 to a class, because of the personal attention needed.
The problem is a shortage of teachers. Why? Because those with the qualifications (nurses) are not inclined to drop a $70,000 job to spend three extra years in college studying with like, you know, like stu' dents' like half their age (like - awesome), acquiring the advanced degree needed to teach at the University level.
- This panel recommends: the Federal Government, ever anxious to spend money on programs that have zero chance for success, can pay for the advanced training required. That would be money well spent. If the candidate has a family to support, provide a loan for an additional $30,000 per