With all due respect to Professor Martin Grace at Georgia State University, I have to disagree with his post of today entitled “This is How it is Done.” Prof. Grace seems like a good guy. I looked at his bio on the GSU website. He has a PhD in Economics and a JD. How can I argue with a guy like that when I was an econ major in college and have a JD? Unfortunately, in this case, he is just plain wrong.
A quick recap: One group, with a report by Mr. Angloff, says that there is no med mal crisis. The problem is that the insurance companies are making too much of a profit and thats why there is a “crisis.” Another group, with a report by Mr. Hoyt and Mr. Powell, say that the first report is wrong. So, who is right?
Well, Mr. Angloff’s report was put out by People Over Profits. This is a grassroots campaign (referred to as Naderite by some) that commissioned a study saying there is no med mal crisis. Mr. Hoyt and Mr. Powell were paid by HCLA, a group who’s stated mission is “Safeguarding patients access to care through medical liability reform.”
Now, what do you expect these people to say? I dont expect HCLA, or anyone HCLA commisions, to come out with a report that says “You know what, there is no med mal crisis. We are wrong. Lets close our doors and move on with life.” That would be the insurers admitting that they have made up a crisis. How would that help them? Insurance companies are some of the least well liked companies in the country. If they come out with a report which supported Mr. Angloff’s position, they would be even less well liked.
Here is what I know (although I admit to not having studied it as closely as some): Doctor’s seem to be having problems getting reasonably priced malpractice coverage. However, doctors keep screwing up. Not all doctor’s, but some. (Heck, I like my doctor, and I think some doctors are great.) People who are injured because a doctor does not know what he or she is doing, or because a doctor leaves a tool inside someone, need to be compensated for their injuries. Meanwhile, the insurance companies are making a profit, and a nice one at that.
Maybe, just maybe, we should stop talking about reforming a legal system, and start looking at other issues.