Nothing makes the Republicans happier than making sure regular people like us have as few rights as possible, and their obsession with "tort reform" is part of that campaign.
Remember, I used to investigate incompetent and crooked docs for a living. There are more of them out there than most people will ever know, and they cause real damage to people's lives - and it's often expensive damage. So the same Republicans who want to take away your legal right to sue to cover your care don't even pretend they want you to get the needed medical treatment, either.
And if Olympia Snowe has her way, the Democrats will roll over your legal rights in their eagerness to get a bipartisan deal on the healthcare reform bill.
ABC News' Jonathan Karl reports: Republicans have long pushed for limits on malpractice lawsuits – what advocates call malpractice reform. It’s a central element of any Republican health care plan. But to Democrats and their trial lawyer supporters, the idea has been a non-starter.
Now, it seems, malpractice reform may be back in play.
The reason: Olympia Snowe, the sole Republican Senator who seems inclined to support Democrats on health care reform, wants it.
Snowe told me today she likes the proposal put forward by Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus. “There’s a lot of promising elements in it,” she said. “It’s a work in progress.” When I asked what she wants changed, she said she’d like to see it include malpractice reform, which she called critical to controlling health care costs.
To Democrats malpractice reform may be too a steep price to pay, but Snowe right now may be the only way Democrats get the 60 votes they need in the Senate.
More Republican hypocrisy, of course. Just look at the states that have instituted the Republican version of tort reform, like Texas. Health care costs (and malpractice premiums) went up, not down. Queen Olympia knows this - she's just holding all the cards in this bipartisan poker game.
And they're playing with our lives.
Just another example of Her Royal Attitude:
On Wednesday afternoon, Olympia Snowe told MSNBC's David Shuster and Tamron Hall that she has personally asked President Obama to remove any mentions of the public option from his speech to Congress.
Snowe said she wanted the president to take the public option "off the table" because doing so "would allay the concerns of so many of whether or not there's a government takeover." Snowe added, "The point is, I don't support a public option, and none of my Republican colleagues do."
And you know what? I'll bet you she gets her way. (But hoping to be proved wrong!)