I consider myself a decisive person. When I am wrong, I am decisively wrong. I’ve learned to live with it. Once in a while, I am confronted with an issue that challenges my belief in my decisiveness. Monday, at the Plaza, a few of us were herded into a room to listen to Dr. George R. Woodbury, a dermatologist from Cordova, Tn. He talked to us, and answered questions regarding tort reform. I believe Aunt B threw some statistics up over at TCP. If they are true, then any advocate for the poor and under-represented among us should at least take a hard look at this issue. So I did. After thinking about this issue for a couple of days, I am squarely in the fence straddlers camp. Dr. Woodbury was indeed passionate, and created a sense of urgency in me.
I’ve read as much as I can stand. It’s boring. But it’s clearly important. According to Dr. Woodbury, Tennessee is losing doctors by the gross. Many other States have passed some type of tort reform, so he makes the case that we must do something about it here. A pretty convincing case, actually. Let me just lay out some concerns, perhaps competing concerns:
I’ve always disliked Doctors that see too many patients in one day, they don’t spend enough time with each one, and so the potential for error is much greater.
Doctors who are terribly negligent should pay a steep price for it. This would ideally act as a deterrent and cut down on the amount of tragic cases.
Too many people are suit-happy. Any error or omission, no matter how inconsequential, is seen as a possible free ride to wealth.
Too many lawyers are unscrupulous and will gladly strong-arm an insurance company into a settlement. (I probably could have just cut this sentence off after “too many lawyers”, as I think I read somewhere that there are more people in law school than there are lawyers in the world,and, if that’s true, how are they going to eat?)
Those are the 4 most obvious. I have additional questions. For instance, if tort reform passed here, is there evidence that it would automatically reduce doctor fees? Something tells me that prices would stay the same, though perhaps there would be more doctors around.
So, this is a cry for help. I need any of my good Liberal friends(and both of my Conservative ones) to chime in here if they have an opinion. Please help get me off of this fence, it’s unbelievably uncomfortable…