“The current arrangement delivers justice at random, in widely varying amounts or not at all, depending on whether you’re feeling litigious, how good your lawyer is, or what a judge or a juror had for breakfast that day. … It is a society with an odd sense of justice that awards millions of dollars to every 25th victim of what may or may not have been a botched operation, but doesn’t guarantee basic health care to anyone.” (“The lawsuit lottery”, Slate, Jul. 10).
The Senate’s failure to invoke cloture on medical litigation reform proceeded on strict party lines, with no Democrats voting for and only two Republicans voting against, Shelby of Alabama (no surprise there) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). (Helen Dewar, “Medical Malpractice Bill Dies in Senate”, Washington Post, Jul. 10). What’s with Graham? — wonders Wyeth Wire.
MedPundit Sydney Smith as usual offers omnibus coverage of the malpractice debate, including a new column of her own (“The Threat to Medical Innovation”, TechCentralStation, Jul. 11); a new study from researchers at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality finding that states with liability caps “experienced a more rapid increase in their supply of physicians” than states without; a funny Scrappleface satire on how doctors should start prescribing cash as a remedy for pain and suffering since that’s what the government considers suitable (Jul. 8, and read the comments); a critique of a typically benighted treatment of the subject in The American Prospect; and more (scroll down, too).