Dear Senator Durbin: Do You Get It?

My Flag Cries Everyday

Dear Senator Durbin;
Thank you for responding to my letter regarding your inability to hold town hall meetings with the people of Illinois. I appreciate that you are a busy man and prefer to receive input from the select few who will support your own views.
It takes courage to stand before a group of angry voters who are disappointed in their representative’s performance. I see by your actions that your character is not what I had always thought it to  be. I thought you were a strong leader who was concerned for all the people of Illinois. I see by your actions that I was wrong to assume that.
I am an American who believes that his country is sacred because it was founded on the principles of personal liberty. I see big government taking those liberties away from us faster than it takes a toilet to flush. I believe you and President Obama do not get it. It, being the fact that I am not alone. How can you possibly legislate when you do not know the mood of your constituents? By not hearing us out face to face at town hall meetings you cannot possibly know how we feel. Sure an angry constituency can become unruly, but only if their Senator gives them a standard line created by the bureaucracy in Washington. Tell the town hall people you understand their needs. Tell them that you will go back to Washington to stop wreckless spending, become fiscally responsible, and not vote for bills that are so long and impossible to understand, that a bevy of lawyers would have trouble doing so.
Here are some of the points I wanted to talk to you about:
1. Health Care Reform is needed, but not what is spelled out in HR3200. I do not want you to support HR3200.
   Come back with something that will not take money from Medicare to fund it. The President so eloquently told us that he will only eliminate waste from Medicare; some five hundred billion dollars worth. Yet, when he asked the entire government to eliminate waste from their budgets they could only come up with one hundred million dollars. Do you really expect me to believe that you and President Obama are capable of finding, and eliminating that much waste? That kind of reasoning is exactly why town hall meetings get noisy.
Take out the part about setting up every school with Planned Parenthood centers.
Add wordage that is specific to not funding abortions. Specify the word abortion, and not sneak it in under the radar as a medical procedure.
Add words that ban government operated public option health care system.
 In other words, HR 3200 is not worth the paper it is written on. Do not vote for HR 3200.
2. Legislate tort reform now, don’t wait for a reform bill.
3. Eliminate the barriers to private sector competition by allowing insurance companies to cross state lines with their plans.
4. Pass legislation that requires the president to obtain congressional vetting and approval on his “czars.”

Need I go on some more, or do you get it? If you can address these issues in a rational logical way, and not in a party controlled response, I will regain my faith in your ability to serve as my Senator.

Respectfully yours,
Grumpa Joe

5 Responses

  1. Is it possible that lawsuits are not the real culprit. Is this a myth to cut the legs from the Democrats funding machine?

    Again, is it the perception of being sued or the actual probability. If it is the perception then people should not be the ones to suffer, but rather light should be shined on the real facts and doctors should be willing to support the truth if in fact that is what it is. If a person is injured society will pay. There is no getting around that fact.

    They say that 85% or the people want tort reform. If that is the case then why do these people that participate in medical malpractice cases do something about.

    Also, maybe if insurance companies were not so short term sighted and did not settle out of court they may win more cases and in the long term discourage lawsuits.

    Again I have not seen any statistics to point to that fact.

    National Bureau of Economic Research: Katherine Baicker, Amitabh Chandra, “The Effect Of Malpractice Liability On The Delivery Of Health Care,” Working Paper 10709, (August 2004.)

    “The fact that we see very little evidence of widespread physician exodus or dramatic increases in the use of defensive medicine in response to increases in state malpractice premiums places the more dire predictions of malpractice alarmists in doubt. The arguments that state tort reforms will avert local physician shortages or lead to greater efficiencies in care are not supported by our findings.”

  2. Dear Mark Baird: Here is something else to add to your well documented argument.
    I have two very good friends who are surgeons. Both are at retirement age. They want to cut back on their hours, and enjoy the fruits of many years of hard work. Both believe they spent too much money and time in educating themselves to give up the job. Both feel robust enough to continue operating. Both quit.
    Why? Because thier mal-practice insurance cost more than they could make without working twelve hours a day, six days a week.
    A good friend of mine was rushed to the hospital last month with a head injury. The hospital didn’t have a neuro-surgeon on their staff. The friend had to be air -vacked to another hospital. Why didn’t they have a neuro-surgeon? No neurosurgeon doctor would work for them because there was not enough business to allow him to afford his mal-practice insurance.
    Stories like mine come from all parts of the country. Health Care Reform without some relief for doctors who must pay exhorbitant mal-practice insurance premiums to protect themselves is doomed to failure.

  3. “I see big government taking those liberties away from us faster than it takes a toilet to flush.”

    Reigel v. Medtronic stipped states right and yet Republicans are not supporting a bill to give back those states right. I just want my day in court to discover the truth even if it does not favor me.

    Be careful because some tort reform will shut the door on everyone that does not have money.

    Let’s not forget what Thomas Jefferson said, “I know of no safe repository of the ultimate power of society but people. And if we think them not enlightened enough, the remedy is not to take the power from them, but to inform them by education.”

    Maybe it is the threat of lawsuits that scared people rather then the probability. After reading about hundreds of cases I believe most juries are reasonable.

    Also, the numbers just do not stack up.

    Following is a GAO report on medical malpractice and could not find any evidence to substantiate the claims of lawsuits impacting health care costs, access to health care or defensive medicine (with one possible lose connection relating to OBGYN). But of course you will not see this report on any media outlet swinging left or right.

    Remember the CBO report regarding the cost of a single payer system that we all grasped to support our arguments against a single payer system…

    Well, there is the CBO report which had this to say about tort reform:

    “But even large savings in premiums can have only a small direct impact on health care spending–private or governmental–because malpractice costs account for less than 2 percent of that spending.”

    And of course there is Tillinghast-Towers Perrin (one of the largest in the world that provides risk management for the insurance and reinsurance industry).

    According to the actuarial consulting firm Towers Perrin, medical malpractice tort costs were $30.4 billion in 2007, the last year for which data are available. We have a more than a $2 trillion health care system. That puts litigation costs and malpractice insurance at 1 to 1.5 percent of total medical costs. That’s a rounding error. Liability isn’t even the tail on the cost dog. It’s the hair on the end of the tail.

    Of that 1 to 1.5 percent what portion of that is “frivolous”? (Page 10)

    And then of course the report from Towers Perrin that states that the total tort cost in the US is 2% of the GDP. What percentage of that is “frivolous” and of that percentage what percentage is “frivolous” corporate lawsuits. So how much are “frivolous” lawsuits driving up the cost of everything? Maybe less than 2 cents on the dollar or maybe even less the 1 cent on the dollar?


  5. Let us know if you get a reply!!!

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