Sunday, October 11, 2009

What Republicans care about

It sho' ain't health care reform. It's not even cost containment.

Republicans care about immunizing medical providers - and especially their insurance carriers - against the suffering they cause when they injure or kill patients. That's what so-called tort reform is about, not about doing justice or saving money.

Don't believe me?

The CBO says that a ceiling on damages would save $54 billion. Not annually, though, over ten years. That savings would accrue to over 300 million Americans. If you average the savings, it amounts to $18 per person per year. That's very roughly one part in four hundred (a quarter of a percent) of what we as a nation spend on health care.

Don't know about you, but I'm willing to part with an Andrew Jackson a year to retain the right to sue someone whose negligence might sentence me to life on a morphine pump.

Of course, the savings wouldn't be averaged, so I wouldn't even have to fork over an Andy. Ordinary Americans would see no savings whatsoever. Insurance company bottom lines, though? They would see nearly all of it.

Remember this every time you evaluate a Republican proposal. They don't care about you.

Remember also that CNN could have made this clear and once again failed utterly to be a useful media outlet.

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