Preventing Political Malpractice

Health care costs are exploding. A robust public option would create competition that would lower costs, and increase access to life-saving medicine.

Health care costs are exploding. A robust public option would create competition that would lower costs, and increase access to life-saving medicine.

But wait! I have an idea! Let's eliminate the public option, and for good measure, take away the rights of the victims of medical malpractice by passing "tort reform." Even though, it um, doesn't work. You know, if by work, you mean lower health-care costs and do anything to help regular people afford health insurance.

But if you've been trained by "Permanent Majority" Rove, and your real purpose is to 1) Keep your corporate slop-providers happy 2) Punish a group that often gives donations to Democrats (lawyers) and 3) Pretend you actually care a whit about people who don't get Yacht Shoe Weekly, then bingo! You have your made up issue.

Thankfully, the American Association for Justice has begun a campaign to tell the truth about this issue, about the 98,000 people who lose their lives each year due to preventable medical error:

The American Association for Justice announced today it is launching what it called the first phase of a nationwide ad campaign "to educate lawmakers about the epidemic of preventable medical errors and how tort law changes won't lower costs or cover the uninsured."

The ads, running in Washington publications and on online news sites, say the estimated 98,000 deaths from preventable medical errors is "like two 737s crashing every day for a whole year."

But the ad concludes:"Would we blame the passengers or the airlines?"

Well, we know who Republicans and Blue Dogs would blame. The passengers. The pilots. The unions. Gay Marriage. Stem-cell research. But never the big corporations who make the planes.

Thankfully, we know better.

Disclosure: I'm damn spankin' proud to be working with the American Association for Justice to protect patients' rights.

About Cliff Schecter

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