Skip to comments.Bush, Cheney Portray Edwards a Liability as Trial Lawyer
Posted on 07/28/2004 5:26:33 PM PDT by red flanker
July 28 (Bloomberg) -- Vice President Dick Cheney drew the loudest cheers on his first bus tour of the 2004 election campaign when he told audiences that trial lawyers wreck good companies, wipe out jobs and saddle doctors with costs they pass to patients.
``Lawsuits can ruin an honest business,'' Cheney said at a July 4 rally in Pittsburgh, part of a swing through Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia for President George W. Bush's re-election bid. ``It's a lot easier for America's businesses to hire workers when they know they don't have to keep hiring lawyers.''
Two days later, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry named former trial lawyer John Edwards, a U.S. senator from North Carolina, as his running mate. The party will endorse his selection tonight at the Democratic National Convention in Boston.
Since then, Bush, 58, and Cheney, 63, have given more than two dozen speeches linking job losses and soaring health-care costs to the kind of injury lawsuits that Edwards, 51, won during his 20-year career as a lawyer. He amassed a net worth of at least $19 million. Such lawsuits will cost doctors and businesses $275 billion this year, or 2.3 percent of U.S. economic output, according to an estimate by Philadelphia-based consulting firm Tillinghast-Towers Perrin Consulting.
Lawyers and law firms are the biggest backers of the Kerry campaign among any industry, donating $11.9 million as of July 8, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington- based, nonpartisan research group. Edwards got $9.3 million from the legal profession -- almost half his total donations -- when he ran for the party's presidential nomination earlier this year.
(Excerpt) Read more at quote.bloomberg.com ...
The practice of obstetrics is not easy. Doctors who deliver babies face long, late hours, life-threaatening complications that can spring up in a split second without warning, and the constant threat of litigation for events beyond their control. Now, the malpractice crisis is making it even harder, with doctors in crisis states like Pennsylvania finding themselves in a manpower crunch thanks to the exodus of obstetricians from the state. Not only are doctors leaving, but hospitals are shutting down their obstetrics departments:
According to the 2003 American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Survey on Medical Liability, 12.5 percent of OB/GYNs in Pennsylvania have stopped practicing OB and 57.5 percent have made some change in their practice because of issues with affordability or availability of liability coverage, including relocating, retiring, dropping OB, reducing number of deliveries, reducing amount of high-risk OB care, or reducing gynecological surgical procedures.
Those statistics, however, do not come close to revealing the extent of the current problem of obstetrician supply in the five-county Philadelphia region, which lost 25 percent of its staffed OB beds between 1993 and 2003, according to Delaware Valley Healthcare Council President Andrew Wigglesworth. Within the past 18 to 24 months, he says, the region lost 10 hospital OB departments, including those at MCP, Methodist, Nazareth, Warminster, Mercy Fitzgerald, Episcopal and Elkins Park; while OB services were also lost from hospital closures including City Line, Sacred Heart in Norristown and Community Hospital in Chester.
That means longer hours and a greater proportion of riskier cases for the hospitals and doctors who remain. Which means they're more prone to errors. It also means that they can no longer spread themselves as thinly as they once did. Hospitals that once staffed inner city public health clinics are can no longer spare the staff to do so, leaving the poor without easily accessible prenatal care. Remember that the next time you hear John Edwards say that he has spent his career helping the down and out.
How many unjustified jackpot jury verdicts have closed legitimate companies?
How about every $50,000 dollars in jury verdict is one job gone.
I wonder if the parents of Edwards were faced with a cost of a $10000 birth instead $300, they would have chosen to abort him. Thanks to Edwards and pals, millions of prospective parents are wondering about that question too.
The state of FL maintains a "wrong birth" trust fund. It is paid into by all malpractice insurance companies from premiums.
When given a choice of the trust fund paying all the necessary medical bills or the option of going to court for the jackpot, those parents go for the jackpot.