Sarah Palin Talks About “Real” Healthcare Reform

From her little town in Alaska, Sarah Palin is quietly leading the common sense charge on the important issues of the day using something as simple as a social networking site.  No cameras, no teleprompters, no adoring zombies…

From Sarah’s Facebook page:

No Health Care Reform Without Legal Reform

President Obama’s health care “reform” plan has met with significant criticism across the country. Many Americans want change and reform in our current health care system. We recognize that while we have the greatest medical care in the world, there are major problems that we must face, especially in terms of reining in costs and allowing care to be affordable for all. However, as we have seen, current plans being pushed by the Democratic leadership represent change that may not be what we had in mind — change which poses serious ethical concerns over the government having control over our families’ health care decisions. In addition, the current plans greatly increase costs of health care, while doing lip service toward controlling costs.

We need to address a REAL bipartisan reform proposition that will have REAL impacts on costs and quality of patient care.

As Governor of Alaska, I learned a little bit about being a target for frivolous suits and complaints (Please, do I really need to footnote that?). I went my whole life without needing a lawyer on speed-dial, but all that changes when you become a target for opportunists and people with no scruples. Our nation’s health care providers have been the targets of similar opportunists for years, and they too have found themselves subjected to false, frivolous, and baseless claims. To quote a former president, “I feel your pain.”

So what can we do? First, we cannot have health care reform without tort reform. The two are intertwined. For example, one supposed justification for socialized medicine is the high cost of health care. As Dr. Scott Gottlieb recently noted, “If Mr. Obama is serious about lowering costs, he’ll need to reform the economic structures in medicine—especially programs like Medicare.” [1] Two examples of these “economic structures” are high malpractice insurance premiums foisted on physicians (and ultimately passed on to consumers as “high health care costs”) and the billions wasted on defensive medicine.

Dr. Stuart Weinstein, with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, recently explained the problem:

”The medical liability crisis has had many unintended consequences, most notably a decrease in access to care in a growing number of states and an increase in healthcare costs.
Access is affected as physicians move their practices to states with lower liability rates and change their practice patterns to reduce or eliminate high-risk services. When one considers that half of all neurosurgeons—as well as one third of all orthopedic surgeons, one third of all emergency physicians, and one third of all trauma surgeons—are sued each year, is it any wonder that 70 percent of emergency departments are at risk because they lack available on-call specialist coverage?” [2]

Dr. Weinstein makes good points, points completely ignored by President Obama. Dr. Weinstein details the costs that our out-of-control tort system are causing the health care industry and notes research that “found that liability reforms could reduce defensive medicine practices, leading to a 5 percent to 9 percent reduction in medical expenditures without any effect on mortality or medical complications.” Dr. Weinstein writes:

“If the Kessler and McClellan estimates were applied to total U.S. healthcare spending in 2005, the defensive medicine costs would total between $100 billion and $178 billion per year. Add to this the cost of defending malpractice cases, paying compensation, and covering additional administrative costs (a total of $29.4 billion). Thus, the average American family pays an additional $1,700 to $2,000 per year in healthcare costs simply to cover the costs of defensive medicine.
Excessive litigation and waste in the nation’s current tort system imposes an estimated yearly tort tax of $9,827 for a family of four and increases healthcare spending in the United States by $124 billion. How does this translate to individuals? The average obstetrician-gynecologist (OB-GYN) delivers 100 babies per year. If that OB-GYN must pay a medical liability premium of $200,000 each year (which is the rate in Florida), $2,000 of the delivery cost for each baby goes to pay the cost of the medical liability premium.” [3]

You would think that any effort to reform our health care system would include tort reform, especially if the stated purpose for Obama’s plan to nationalize our health care industry is the current high costs.

So I have new questions for the president: Why no legal reform? Why continue to encourage defensive medicine that wastes billions of dollars and does nothing for the patients? Do you want health care reform to benefit trial attorneys or patients?

Many states, including my own state of Alaska, have enacted caps on lawsuit awards against health care providers. Texas enacted caps and found that one county’s medical malpractice claims dropped 41 percent, and another study found a “55 percent decline” after reform measures were passed. [4] That’s one step in health care reform. Limiting lawyer contingency fees, as is done under the Federal Tort Claims Act, is another step. The State of Alaska pioneered the “loser pays” rule in the United States, which deters frivolous civil law suits by making the loser partially pay the winner’s legal bills. Preventing quack doctors from giving “expert” testimony in court against real doctors is another reform.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry noted that, after his state enacted tort reform measures, the number of doctors applying to practice medicine in Texas “skyrocketed by 57 percent” and that the tort reforms “brought critical specialties to underserved areas.” These are real reforms that actually improve access to health care. [5]

Dr. Weinstein’s research shows that around $200 billion per year could be saved with legal reform. That’s real savings. That’s money that could be used to build roads, schools, or hospitals.
If you want to save health care, let’s listen to our doctors. There should be no health care reform without legal reform. There can be no true health care reform without legal reform.

– Sarah Palin

(P.S. On a site note, my server seems to be having issues again today.  I do not know if it is my site or another that is causing the delays.  Maybe someone does not like the awards that the Monster gives out, but I continue to thank you for your continued loyalty and support.)

By Logistics Monster


  • That is one sharp lady. I think she already knows the answer to her question of why BHO won’t reform torts etc. BHO is and has been on the dole of the trial lawyers. Not only would it be unwise for him to bite the hand that feeds him that same hand could thrash him without mercy. BHO got where he is through those folks and I have a hunch they know where all the dirty laundry is kept. Sarah is right and her proposal is the only way to reform health care; but I don’t think reforming health care is BHO’s plan…it is deforming America.

  • I read this Facebook post from my Facebook page earlier… all I can say is… Go Sarah!

    DT… she is siting the exact same stats I quoted in one of my posts to one of your earlier blog entries. Dr. Art Laffer was commissioned to do this and other studies here in Texas.

    Walt… on Cavuto’s show on Fox News this afternoon, he had a graphic that should that the trial lawyers association gave $576K to Dems, while only $5K to Repubs. You’re right… they are definitely on the dole.

  • Dug,

    Whats the big deal that is only 115 times as much. The reported numbers pale in comparison to what was slid under the table or donated by “PO box” special interests.

    Trust me, the good deeds the trial lawyers do not go un-noticed or unpaid. Just like cash for clunkers is a payoff to the unions, so will BHO care for his barrister cronies.

  • Practical Madman -

    Do you think that a government comprised of a majority of lawyers would actually ever vote to cut their friends’ throats? This is one of the main things I like about GOOOH,com, NO LAWYERS ALLOWED!!! What is 10,000 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean? A GOOD START!

    GO SARAH GO!!!

  • As usual Sarah speaks common sense. The Democrats won’t touch tort reform because they are in the pocket of the trial lawyers. Don’t get me wrong, I think that trial lawyers are valuable allies when corporations screw over ordinary Americans. But there has to be a common sense approach to solving things and Sarah has it just right. Obama and the Democrats seem to think that you cut costs by spending more taxpayer money on something. It’s insane on the face of it.

  • I think Sarah is alot smarter than the Dem’s give her credit for. By the time 2012 comes around Obama will be ready to retire.

  • I like Palin a lot and what she says has merit but let’s not go overboard shooting the lawyers. I have some experience with medical ineptitude and they cover for each other just as effectively as the lawyers do. So we do need both; what would do not need are bottom feeding lawyers or doctors.

  • Churl,

    The bottom feeders are there, with or without tort reform. There will always be bad doctors and bad lawyers (is that redundant?) but what we can eliminate from the equation is greedy “victims”. I have zero problem with a true victim going after a bad doc, but we need to stop these “entitlement” types from getting rich because they didn’t listen to their doc or because the hospital is scared and settles. Since the medical “profession” has refused to self regulate, it must come from above. Sarah Palin is dead on with this post.

  • Leaping Spark -

    Sarah palin is dead on with this post about healthcare reform, has not even begun to address the true nature of the POS Obama. The messiah cares nothing about any of the bills being passed other then the power and wealth they allow him to grab on his way to becoming the leader of the world. How much longer is this pretender going to be allowed to run rough shod over America with his Sol Alinsky communist tactics. Why is everyone scared to call him what he is, a frikin radical Muslim Communist POS. He and all of his comrades must be stopped or America will be destroyed and turned into a third world nightmare. Heathcare is but a vehicle being used by this SOB to steal more of our wealth and freedom.

    Hello, is anybody out there?

  • what we can eliminate from the equation is greedy “victims”

    GG… this is exactly right, if I am understanding your drift here. It is amazing how many people there are that are trying to “get rich quick” by playing the “victim”… making the lawyers wealthy and everyone else winds up paying for it.

    As long as there is THAT kind of litigious “demand” out there, lawyers will rush in with the services supply. It’s just economics in action. Just in my small city of 75,000 there are 50 pages of attorneys in the Yellow Pages, most of which are ambulance chasers.

    On malpractice… while there is a small percentage of doctors who are incompetent, the main thing with that is they should lose their license to practice medicine permanently. That would be the best deterrent of reoccurrence in the community and not constantly handing out lottery-size settlement awards. The later only encourages more of the “get rich quick victim” scenario.

  • Dug,

    You understood my drift perfectly!


    I wonder if it has occurred to Obama that there really was no one person that was “Big Brother”. He’s playing with the big boys now, and eventually he needs to grasp that if he indeed ends up being the face of the New World Order, then the actual man will have to be “disappeared” sooner or later. The “Party” is bigger than any one man.

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