Monday, October 19, 2009

Malpractice Insurance and Health Care Reform

Last night I was listening to the radio and came upon yet another right wing talk show. I didn't recognize the woman's voice; all I knew was that it wasn't Ann Coulter, as I've heard her voice, ad nauseum, on several different shows, on both radio and TV.

This unknown woman had the unpleasant quality of sounding both indignant and nervous at the same time. She sounded quite like she'd consumed an entire pot of coffee singlehandedly just before the broadcast. You know the sound: voice slightly raised in pitch, a haughy, prim tone, with a hint of a nervous tremor in her voice. Her voice almost hummed as she engaged in an inner battle as to what emotion would win: (self)righteous indignation or nervousness.

Though her voice was grating, I had to listen until she revealed her identity, as I wanted to hear the name of the woman who almost made Neal Boortz seem reasonable.

It was Monica Crowley, who, oddly enough, is the sister-in-law of Alan Colmes, the liberal half of Hannity and Colmes.

Anyway, enough background for now; let me get to the point of this post.

When I tuned in, Crowley was in mid-rant about health care reform. The thrust of her argument was that the Democrats are "lying through their teeth" about how much health care reform will actually cost. She mentioned tort reform. citing that malpractice insurance that doctors must carry was one of the biggest offenders in the cost of health care.

All right, I'll grant that this is no doubt a factor affecting the cost of health care in this country, but she completely lost me when she continued her argument.

She went on to say that the Democrats are against malpractice law reform simply because a large number of trial lawyers supported the Democrats in the last election and for no other reason. Paranoid, much?

If I thought I'd get a fair chance to air my opinion, I'd have called and asked her, "If malpractice laws are abolished, what do you propose be done to protect patients who are the victims of genuine malpractice and gross medical negligence?"

Naturally, she did not address this concern on her show and I'd guess that she really doesn't much care.


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