Gov. shows leadership in medi-mal compromise

After I lavished praise yesterday on King County Executive Ron Sims’ leadership skills, The Seattle Times reminds me today that leadership comes in different forms:

Gov. Christine Gregoire’s strong suit is getting feuding interests in a heated political fight together until they reach agreement. The latest example is her notable leadership on medical-malpractice law. […] Gregoire’s hard-nosed negotiating skills prove once again to be one of her most successful leadership traits.

While I’m a huge fan of Sims’ willingness to step up to the bully pulpit, take a stance (however unpopular,) and lead, Gov. Gregoire deserves a ton of credit for the quiet, methodical way she gets things done. The Times notes her accomplishments as the lead negotiator on the multibillion dollar tobacco lawsuit as Attorney General, and on the Hanford cleanup settlement as state ecology director. Just as impressive was the way she brokered a bipartisan deal last year on the transportation improvement package, even as the state GOP worked tirelessly to undermine her authority with their muck-strewn election contest lawsuit.

This compromise medical malpractice legislation — coming in the immediate wake of bitter, dueling initiatives — is yet another example of Gov. Gregoire’s talent at “herding cats”… a talent that has made her an extraordinarily effective governor. It is particularly impressive considering the classically partisan nature of this epic conflict between trial lawyers and the insurance industry.

The Republicans have never simply approached medical malpractice as an opportunity to enact good policy (though I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that that is at least part of their goal.) Indeed, some GOP leaders sounded downright disappointed at news of a compromise.

Senate Republican Leader Mike Hewitt of Walla Walla later said the measure fell so far short of a solution for the “med-mal” problem that it was really “mini-mal.” Hewitt’s caucus has long supported caps on damages.

Of course they do. That’s because trial lawyers generally give to Democrats, whereas the insurance industry on the other side of the table generally gives to Republicans. To the GOP, the enduring appeal of tort reform — just like so-called “right to work” legislation and its resulting blow to organized labor — has always been the opportunity to defund the Democratic Party. (Just take a look at the electoral shift in Texas for an example of how successful that strategy can be.)

That Gov. Gregoire was able to broker a deal in this context makes her feat all the more impressive. That’s leadership for you.

Comments

  1. 2

    GBS spews:

    JCH:

    If I were faced with these two choices I would take B over A any day of the week.

    A) Naval Officer who WASHED-OUT of flight school and became a Supply Officer in the Gator Navy.

    or

    B) Enlisted man who became a SEAL.

    B) Has no shame, and really has NO REGRETS.

    Whereas A) means having to live your whole life knowing you couldn’t hack it where other men succeeded. Always wondering “what if I were good enough? What could I have done?”

    Death before dishonor. JCH, you will never fully know the meaning of that creed. For you will die a thousand deaths, and I will only die but once.

    BTW, you were clearly caught lying about living in Hawaii. Now, everyone knows you’re an unqualified liar. You have ZERO credibility. The best part is; I’m the one who destroyed you.

    WASHOUT.

  2. 3

    Rev. A.A. Tappman: Anababtist spews:

    re 63: Did you ever run into Tom Shane in Bangkok? Apparently he picks all the cherry blossom rubies himself! Shane’s guarantee is that if you give your lady a Shane jewelry piece and don’t get laid, you get a full refund, and she gets to keep the jewelry. Pretty good guarantee, no!

  3. 5

    Puddybud spews:

    GBS: Wuz busy last night so I didn’t get into the Thai thing. Yes Thai food is excellent. I have some friends in Bangkok and everytime I get there I call Kunachee and his woman for a great new restaurant. I liked Phuket personally. Eventhough the tsunami did some damage there, the tit view was wonderful. Sure is amazing what white europeans will show when away from their homeland! Kind of reminds me of St Kilda beach in Melbourne, Barcelona in Spain and some of the Italian beaches. The only thing close was a Provincetown, Mass visit one year. I miss that international travel.

  4. 6

    Rev. A.A. Tappman: Anababtist spews:

    re 136: That sounds like field-hand ebonics from the 1920’s. That sentence of yours came from Alabama with a banjo on it’s knee. And don’t give me any guff about racism after all the truly cracker trash that some of your white conservative “allies” put out there!

  5. 7

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    126

    Puddy — there’s an easy way to settle this argument. Because some states enacted so-called “tort reform,” it’s possible to study how “tort reform” affects insurance rates. Such studies have been done, and here’s the result:

    “We found that the trends in rates/loss cost do not support the hypothesis that ‘tort reform’ has succeeded in holding down insurance costs or rates. Despite what ‘tort reform’ proponents promised lawmakers, tort law limits enacted since the liability insurance crisis of the mid-1980’s have not lowered insurance rates in the ensuring years. States with little or no tort law restrictions have experienced the same level of insurance rates as those states that enacted severe restrictions on victims’ rights.

    “The ‘liability insurance crisis’ of the mid-1980’s was ultimately found to be caused not by legal system excesses but by the economic cycle of the insurance industry. … Just as the liability insurance crisis was found to be driven by the insurance underwriting cycle and not by a tort law cost explosion as many insurance companies and others had claimed, the ‘tort reform’ remedy pushed by these advocates failed … legal system restrictions are based on a false predicate. ‘Tort reforms’ do not produce lower insurance costs or rates.”

    http://www.centerjd.org/PremiumDeceit%20.pdf

  6. 8

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    126

    “Now if they don’t payout all that money, they will not raise premiums as much.”

    Who do you think you’re kidding? You should have said, if they don’t pay out all that money in claims, they will pay it to themselves as salaries and perks. They sure as hell won’t give it back to their policyholders. Where do you think $46,000,000 annual CEO salaries come from, anyway?

    This works exactly the same way oil companies gouge you* at the gas pump. A temporary period of tight supplies that pushes up prices gets you used to paying high prices. When supplies become more plentiful, prices fall much slower than they rose, if at all. Now why isn’t competition working here? Because all the oil companies want to gouge you if they can. They don’t have to engage in illegal collusion or price fixing to accomplish their ends; it happens because they’re all thinking the same thing: Well consumers have gotten used to paying $2.50 for gas, so why should we lower the price? We’ll take increased profit.

    Medical malpractice insurance — same deal. Doctors have acclimatized to high premium costs. So, if payouts decreased, why would insurance companies cut premiums? Competition doesn’t work here for the same reason it doesn’t work at the gas pump, they all have the same mentality, which is, now that doctors and the public have gotten used to paying outrageous rates for malpractice insurance, why the hell should we cut the price just because claim payouts are less, when we can take more profit? Once again, it doesn’t require any illegal collusion or organized price fixing, because they all have the same mentality and think the same way.

  7. 9

    marks spews:

    Yes, I spent some time in Pattaya. Wonderful folks there, and just over the top considering their penchant for massages (my wife will kill me someday, and it will be because I talk about Pattaya in my sleep, I bet)…

  8. 10

    REV Jesse [JCH] Jackson spews:

    marks, We were is Pattaya. GBS [Hillary] was in “Padia”. Except he was restricted to the ship, and as an E-3, he would be port and starboard. And, yes, “I’ll have Number 13 and number 42″!

  9. 11

    marks spews:

    JCH proves that humanity is dead. I wonder if he was a christian? Don’t matter, based on his ranting…

  10. 12

    REV Jesse [JCH] Jackson spews:

    151….Ah, The truth shall set you free!!! Captain’s Mast!!! And violations of the UCMJ!! Now I see that the bitterness is still around, Clarice, errrr, Hillary!! I see the chip on your shoulder is a bitter one!! Any you lied about your punishment, as any “E Man” who strikes a commissioned officer would get a little brig time. Or did you just “wiff” him, “Brokeback Mountain” style????? So bitter, for soooooooooooo long!! And the Captain shit on you because you were a shitbird!!!!!!!!!! SHITBIRD, Hillary!!!!!!!!!! And while all the real SEALs were enjoying Pattaya Beach, YOU were restricted and pulling extra duty!!! E3 SHITBIRD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. 13

    REV Jesse [JCH] Jackson spews:

    Spent a few weeks in Bangkok and “Padia” Beach.[ Errrrr, E-6 Hillary, Would that be Pattaya Beach? ROTFLMAO!!!! “Padia”!!!! Spell much, Hillary????? Any yes, I was there!!!!!!!! “Padia”!!!!!!!!! Classic!!!!!!!!!!!]

  12. 14

    Drivel spews:

    For about $750 per month you live like a king……..as of now, best place I have found in the world filling 3 passports and 10 additions

  13. 15

    GBS spews:

    Cougar:

    Can’t really disagree with you there. Awsome food. Lovely women. Great weather. Spent a few weeks in Bangkok and Padia Beach. Busy, busy city. Loved the beach better though. I bet your money would go a long way there in retirement.

    As long as the humidity doesn’t bother you good weather that is.

  14. 16

    Cougar spews:

    Puddy and GBS: Indian food is great (lived there two years) and Greek food is fine also, but for my money nothing in the world compares to a good Thai meal. The way they mix ‘sweets and spices, fruits and sours is unbelievable! (lived there 5 years and will probably retire to same)

  15. 17

    GBS spews:

    @ 150

    Mmmmm. . . that’s a tough one. I love Greek food, too. I’m pretty new to eating Indian food so I don’t know all the names or customs yet. But, for me, I think I like Indian food just a bit better.

    For spicy foods I also love Thai and Viet Namese food and of course Mexican food. Or as my California Chicano friend likes to say “American food Mexican style.”

  16. 19

    GBS spews:

    @ 144:

    All right, Puddybud, I see you’re finally starting to see the light of truth. Great.

    How ya feeling? Get rid of that Bird Flu yet? Or was it SARS (LOL)

  17. 20

    REV Jesse [JCH] Jackson spews:

    @ 140

    What is the malpractice premiums for Democrap Witch Doctors these days? [hee hee]

  18. 21

    Puddybud spews:

    GBS: Thanks for asking. I finally starting feeling better yesterday. No it wasn’t bird flu unless the people in the Indian restaurant I visited had it with the Bro & Sis-in-Law. Neither of them got sick! East coast flu is nasty.

    Regarding seeing the truth light, I was trying to tell VA that Quacks don’t help the problem he identified as physicain heal thyself. If they don’t police the bad ones then all are affected. He extrapolated what my intent was. No that wasn’t my intent but I ain’t going to argue any more over it!

  19. 22

    GBS spews:

    Puddybud:

    Glad to hear you’re feeling better.

    I didn’t mean the arguement you and VA were having. I just simply meant that you agree that those of us on the left are always right. That’s what I’m glad you’re starting to understand. (LOL)

    Indian food. . . mmmmmmmmm. . . chicken curry. Think I’m going to try that Indian food place in Pioneer Square right now.

    Later, Puddybud, glad to see you back.

  20. 23

    REV Jesse [JCH] Jackson spews:

    Today is Kennedy’s birthday, as he turns 74. [Mary Jo was not available to wish the Senator a “Happy Birthday!]

  21. 25

    Voter Advocate spews:

    140

    The discussion was about if and how malpractice affects insurance rates. There are tens of thousands of such incidents every year, any single one of them is irrlevant to that thread, particularly the Chavis case since there is no indication in the article you cite that malpractice awards or lawsuits were involved.

    You then state:

    “As a black, sometimes I have to look at affirmative action as not the panacea for all social ills!”

    So you reached an indefensible position in your argument and tried to change the subject to a hobby horse you like better.

    That’s ’nuff said.

    “As a black, sometimes I have to look at affirmative action as not the panacea for all social ills!”

  22. 27

    Puddybud spews:

    Bill, you claimed you recently received a bill itemization. Did you ask what were the other charges? What is the reason for the 30-40% increase, other than the insurance companies will pay it? Was the bill from the doctor only or the hospital? Were they customary and fair charges?

  23. 28

    Puddybud spews:

    VA Tell me where did say that you accuse me of? You brought up “Physician, heal thyself.” I answered about a black physician, who was a quack, who in his bad skillz caused malpractice premiums to escalate due to his lack of care. He caused a patient to bleed to death. Stop projecting what I didn’t say and study what I did say! Nuff said!

  24. 30

    bill spews:

    Puddy, the basic problem is that malpractice costs are around 1 % of the total cost on a medical bill. If that doubled or even tripled, I should only see a 1 or 2 percent increase in the final bill. However, what I have seen is 30 – 40. While it makes a good sound byte that these rises in cost are from malpractice payout, it simply has no explanatory legs.

    Everybody wants there to be a bad guy who managed to single-handedly make prices go up. I think the problem is more systemic, and the recent insistance by politicians that everything can or should be explainable in a single 30 second clip is a big part of why this is not getting fixed.

  25. 31

    Puddybud spews:

    RevMan: I can Ebonic with the best of them. But why? To prove what? Are you demonstrating sincere ignorance or conscientious stupidity?

    Id’s da whidy craka falwt, jis lik’d em goobers howz dey treetid us wida fawrehoze!

  26. 32

    Voter Advocate spews:

    A staggering non sequitur, Puddy. Affirmative action is the cause for malpractice? State boards don’t go after bad doctors because they’re afraid of charges of discrimination?

    Give me a break.

    Here’s a much bigger problem with regard to the poor record of doctors regulating themselves:

    “Lawyers who sue Maryland’s elite hospitals for alleged medical mistakes often don’t target the physicians involved, a practice that expedites such cases but can shield doctors from government regulators and the public.”

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/ne.....-headlines

  27. 33

    Particle Man spews:

    Puddybud, you seem to have some understanding on this issue. Do you recall the news story about the “Doctors Insurance Company” being fined by the insurance commish in 05 for price fixing?

  28. 34

    Puddybud spews:

    Yes, VA, there are bad doctors out there. For instance the doctor who took Dr. Allan Bakke’s position in the UCMS Berkeley case, was a black quack. They should police their own!

    http://www.pacificresearch.org.....08-20.html

    As a black, sometimes I have to look at affirmative action as not the panacea for all social ills!

  29. 35

    Rev. A.A. Tappman: Anababtist spews:

    re 121: “It be de wite men’s fawlt.” Yours isn’t bad, just needs a little punch up.

    That’s the beauty of being genuinely smart: You can always top the other guy!

  30. 36

    Voter Advocate spews:

    Pennsylvania has 5.3 percent of the doctors in the United States, they make up 18.5 percent of American doctors with five or more malpractice payments. One doctor there paid 24 claims between 1993 and 2001 totaling more than $8 million (one was for operating on the wrong part of the body; another was for leaving a “foreign body” in the patient) yet was never disciplined by Pennsylvania authorities.

    The state with the next highest overrepresentation of doctors with five or more payouts is West Virginia, where doctors went on strike last month. It has 0.57 percent of the country’s physicians, but they make up 1.69 percent of American doctors who have had made malpractice payments five or more times. Only one-quarter of the state’s doctors with five or more payouts has been disciplined by the medical board.

    In New York, another state with a pending malpractice crisis, the number of doctors who have had five or more malpractice payments is two and one-half times higher than would be expected from the number of doctors licensed. Yet only 15 percent of these 698 doctors have been disciplined by the state board.

  31. 37

    Puddybud spews:

    Bill: I have insurance agents, lawyers, doctors, and pharmacists in our family. I hear it from large family dinner conversations. Some are funny, some are enlightening! I have a son who will be attending a pre-law program this fall!

    Regarding the fees, mm I disagreeing? I said there are more than the forces you ascribe to. It is not just the insurance premiums, otherwise they would be charging the same rates to doctors all over the union. No, it’s more about the payout due to where the large payouts occur, like NYC!

  32. 39

    Voter Advocate spews:

    Medical malpractice costs, as a percentage of health care costs, are at an all time low, 0.55 percent, meaning the rise in premiums I pay are due to some other factor.

    The response it to wail that physicians need to practice defensive medicine (as opposed to offensive medicine?)

    Here’s an alternative for doctors, clean up your profession.

    From 1990 to 2002, just 5 percent of doctors were involved in 54 percent of malpractice payouts. Of the 35,000 doctors with two or more payouts during that period, only 8 percent were disciplined by state medical boards. Among the 2,774 doctors who had made payments in five or more cases, only one out of six had been disciplined.

    Physician, heal thyself.

  33. 40

    bill spews:

    ok, in the first place thats not a flame, thats a disagreement, along with irritation at the fact that you recovered ground already covered. Trust me if I flame you you’ll know.

    In the second place, items like this

    “Physicians practice defensive medicine in obstetrics, but there is only a small impact on total obstetric care costs resulting from increased Cesarean sections based on malpractice fears.”

    Would be telling if true, however, the way its being stated and presented, its mearly your opinion, or rather the opinion of the person who wrote the web site you copied it off of. Futher, that specific quote says that there is little impact on fees from malpractice, the opposite of what you are trying to say. (emphasis added by me)

  34. 41

    Puddybud spews:

    RevMan: Dr King also said something that rings true about you: “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” He was definitely describing RevMan A.A. Tappman: Anababtist – The Prosecution Rests

  35. 42

    Puddybud spews:

    Bill: Theory? Sorry these are actual facts I posted. I took RR’s try at stacking the deck to his red-eyed view and I am throwing facts upon this blog. Did you read them before flaming me? I am trying to say it’s a combination of forces. But in you view it’s only the insurance companies. It’s more than just the insurance companies. Insurance companies try to guess at what their payout would be, sometimes up to 10 years before the event. Before 2002, they guessed wrong, there was a large payout, so to compensate they elevated their premiums structure. Now if they don’t payout all that money, they will not raise premiums as much. Where is that in any discussion above?

  36. 43

    bill spews:

    When I look at my medical bills, I notice that those tests and doctors fees (which are where malpractice costs are covered from) its only about a quarter of what I paid. Most if that bill is supplies that are marked up about 500% over what I paid at a drug store. Further, the price on those tests and doctor fees are the same regardless of what doctor you go to, with the single exception of low income people, who will be charged on a ‘sliding scale’ which basicly means they will only charge the amount that is normal for an insurance company co-pay.

  37. 44

    Puddybud spews:

    RevMan: let me qualify: Martin Luther King Jr said: “I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizens Councilor or the Ku Klux Klanner but the white moderate who is more devoted to order than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice.”

    So I must eloquently restate what I said above: “It’s de liberal progressive white man’s fault!!!!!”

  38. 45

    bill spews:

    Oh and puddy, very nice. If you had bothered to oh I don’t know, catch up on the conversation we already discussed that type of information and dismissed it as insufficient. Theory is nice, but I think the parties are making an extraordinary claim that there is a crisis in malpractice. ie, prove it.

  39. 46

    Rev. A.A. Tappman: Anababtist spews:

    RE 118: Puddybud: Are these your own words? I thought you were HOOKED ON EBONICS!!!

  40. 47

    Puddybud spews:

    RevMan: I am glad you are interested in my written word. I enter and leave Ebonics as I please! That’s the beauty of being black. You never have to say you’re sorry! It’s de white man’s fault!

  41. 48

    bill spews:

    Fellow republicans? You are an idiot arent you? Try actually reading some of this blog and find out where I stand.

    Criticizing stupidity in either party does not make me a member of a party.

  42. 49

    Rev. A.A. Tappman: Anababtist spews:

    bill: You had decades to school your fellow Republicans in the niceties of polite political discourse.

    But you didn’t! Not when the vituperation was winning new Republican converts and consequently important elections.

    Now, however , I see you and other Republicans urging us to be polite — no matter what. I think your problem with us is that next to our badmouthing, your Republican cohorts look, well, stupid!

    Which they are ! So I have one word for you, bill: FUCK OFF!!!

  43. 50

    Puddybud spews:

    Or this one Wabbet. Why did you not look at this link? It seemed to distribute the blame.

    http://www.rwjf.org/portfolios.....8;iaid=142

    “Medical observers have long argued that physicians’ concerns about malpractice lead to defensive medicine, which adversely affects both the availability and cost of health services. According to the American Medical Association (AMA), physicians are concerned that they face unlimited personal legal liability for medical accidents. They complain that liability fears make them practice medicine inappropriately. Physicians have stated that they perform low-value tests or procedures more for legal than medical reasons — what the researchers at the Urban Institute call “positive” defensive medicine — thus inflating the cost of medical services. Furthermore, they avoid high-risk patients or procedures — what they call “negative” defensive medicine — thereby reducing patients’ access to care.”

    • Malpractice liability pressure reduces women’s access to prenatal obstetric care.
    • Physicians practice defensive medicine in obstetrics, but there is only a small impact on total obstetric care costs resulting from increased Cesarean sections based on malpractice fears.
    • Physicians’ defensive response varies with the socioeconomic status of the mother
    • There is a considerable premium penalty associated with providing obstetric services, for both family practitioners and obstetricians.
    • Physicians practicing in different states, and different specialists within a state, may face very different malpractice premium costs.
    • Tort reform may be necessary, but it is not sufficient to reduce problems associated with defensive medicine.
    • Participation in managed care can affect providers’ liability on the grounds that their professional judgment was affected by the economic incentives or rules of managed care; managed care patients are more likely to sue than patients in other health care plans because they mistrust their providers or feel shortchanged under managed care.

  44. 51

    bill spews:

    roger, no I am not advocating respect for Ann Coulter. There is a significant difference between respect for an office and respect for the holder. You keep forgetting that ‘republican’ is not some faceless nameless entity that you are entitled to hate. Yes it includes folks that need disrespect from time to time, like Coulter or JCH.

    But it also includes folks that weve seen here on this blog who are respectful and who just disagree with you. Seems to me ‘they did it first’ is no excuse for rude behavior.

    You’ve also seemed to have forgotten that not democrat does not equal republican.

    I agree, its not the lawyers, its the markup. I do still think that markup is there because of the insurance industry. Not that I think that was some intentional plot to overcharge the world, but stupid policies with the best of intentions took advantage of monopolies.

  45. 52

    Puddybud spews:

    Or Wabbet how about dis one? http://www.power-of-attorneys.com/lawyer_a_day.htm

    “Texas’ current Attorney General John Cornyn, speaking out about frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits recently, noted that Texas doctors are about twice as likely to be sued as their colleagues across the country. Lucky them. In fact, Cornyn commented that more than half of all doctors in Texas had at least one claim filed against them in the last year. In statistics cited by Attorney General Cornyn, eight out of ten medical malpractice lawsuits result in no payment being made by the doctor because there is no fault on the doctor’s part. Yet doctors have to divert precious time and resources (not to mention money, of course) away from their practices and their patients to defend themselves against these predatory medical malpractice lawsuits.”

  46. 54

    Puddybud spews:

    Wabbet: I’ll bite! With extended family practicing medicine, this is family gathering conversational event. My search consisted of
    +Malpractice +Lawsuits +Premium +Costs: Results 1 – 10 of about 129,000 for +Malpractice +Lawsuits +Premium +Costs.

    Unfortunately you never delivered your search engine criteria!

    http://www.thejournalnews.com/.....60315/1066
    “Medical-malpractice insurance premiums in upstate New York are among the lowest in the nation while those in the New York City metropolitan area are among the highest, according to a report released yesterday.

    The report, from Rochester-based Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield, said that doctors facing high premiums are practicing “defensive medicine” such as unnecessary tests to avoid lawsuits. The result, the report said, is extra costs.

    “Defensive medicine has to do with undergoing a more expensive or unnecessary test just because a diagnosis may have been missed,” said Dr. Martin Hickey, a senior vice president for health-care affairs at Excellus.

    A general surgeon in the Rochester area, for example, pays an average malpractice premium of about $18,000. A general surgeon in Rockland and Westchester counties must pay $66,369 for the same coverage. In Putnam County it is $40,741.

    The biggest discrepancy is in what obstetrician-gynecologists pay. In Rockland and Westchester, the premium rate is $110,767 a year. In Putnam it is $67,994. In Erie and Niagara counties, they are charged $42,734.”

    “Widowski also noted that jury composition and the differences in regional appellate courts could be factors as well.

    Hickey agreed that verdicts in upstate areas “tend to be more conservative.”

    “I think it demonstrates the medical-liability premium costs are very, very high,” said Liz Dears, a spokesperson for the Division of Governmental Affairs at the Medical Association of New York.

    “In some regions of the state they are much higher than physicians can bear,” she said.

  47. 58

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Hey MTR do you think gaming and manipulating the health insurance system to gouge doctors, patients, and taxpayers is a “skill” that should be rewarded with a salary of $46 million a year?

  48. 59

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    65

    “it needs a touch more explaination I think”

    Have I given you enough explanation, Bill, or do you need more?

  49. 60

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Any of you wingnuts want to tell me again that lawyers caused today’s malpractice insurance premiums? Would you like some more studies, sources, and cites? How many would you like? Hundreds? Thousands?

  50. 61

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Of course, the trollfucks will concede nothing, because they give ideology and partisanship precedence over facts and truth, and don’t hesitate to lie for political gain.

  51. 62

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Wait and see, the trolls are going to argue with me, they’re gonna persist in saying lawsuits cause high medical costs and high malpractice insurance rates.

  52. 64

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    “Insurers Continue to Price-Gouge Doctors Despite Dropping Medical Malpractice Payouts”

    “Contrary to what the insurance and medical lobbies have alleged, the years 2002 and 2003 saw no ‘explosion’ in medical malpractice insurer payouts to justify skyrocketing rate hikes. In fact, rather than exploding, inflation-adjusted payouts per doctor have dropped for the last two years. Payouts (in constant dollars) have been essentially flat or dropping since the mid-1980s.

    “Second, medical malpractice insurance premiums rose much faster in 2002 and 2003 than was justified by insurance payouts. These price hikes were not connected to actual payouts, jury verdicts, or the legal system. Rather, they reflect dropping interest rates and losses experienced by the insurance industry’s market investmetns.

    “… the study shows that the causes of, and solutions to, this crisis lie not with the legal system (i.e., ‘tort reform’) but with reforming regulation of the insurance industry, which has been unfairly charging doctors excessive rates to make up for their own investment losses.”

    http://www.insurance-reform.or.....004rel.pdf

  53. 66

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    “July 8, 2004—Anomalous in the business-friendly climate of the House of Representatives are the hard-nosed industry oversight hearings conducted by Rep. Jim Greenwood (R-PA), chair of the Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee.

    “In recent investigations, Greenwood has uncovered evidence of hospital overcharging of the uninsured ….

    “… Greenwood described a system of ‘Russian roulette,’ in which one uninsured person who can’t pay for hospital care will pay nothing while another, under pressure from the hospital billing department, ends up losing his house or squeezing his relatives to come up with the money for hospital services based on ‘master charges’ that virtually no one other than the uninsured actually pay.

    “Greenwood said that while the hospital industry argues that the master charges are the starting point for negotiating rates, that’s not really the case. Critics liken the master charges to the sticker prices for cars that only the most naïve shoppers actually pay.

    “And while hospitals cite large estimates of the amount of uncompensated care they provide, they are ‘more than breaking even on their costs for charitable care’ because of Medicare and Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital payments, Greenwood said. He added that, for the most part, they ‘don’t really collect’ on the high rates they charge uninsured patients, which has made him wonder why they charge so much.

    “The answer lies in the incentives hospitals have had to boost their estimates of the ratio of charges-to-costs for ‘outlier’ cases. Higher charges for those high-cost outlier cases have led to higher reimbursement.

    “These ‘meaningless’ numbers have helped to boost reimbursement, Greenwood said. Justifying that the numbers are not entirely meaningless by showing that some patients are actually paying the charges, Greenwood indicated, has led some unsuspecting uninsured patients to virtually lose their shirts to pay their bills while others get off scot-free.

    “‘Some poor slob had to get caught in those gears so the hospital could demonstrate these numbers meant something,’ according to Greenwood’s explanation.”

    http://www.cmwf.org/healthpoli....._id=232230

    Geez, you know it’s bad when a REPUBLICAN congressman says hospitals are gouging consumers.

  54. 67

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Hey can any of you wingnuts who oppose government regulation explain to me how a patient lying unconscious in a speeding ambulance is supposed to shop around for reasonably priced hospital care?

  55. 68

    Rev. A.A. Tappman: Anababtist spews:

    MTR thinks his hand is invisible when he strokes himself in church. He is a commie.

  56. 69

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    “When you’re sick and need help, avoiding mistakes has to be near the top of the priority list for the hospital. But when it comes to giving you an accurate bill, hospitals are apparently a bit more lax.

    “Holly Wallack, a Medical Billing Advocate says, ‘70% of all hospital bills contain errors and I would say 50% of all physician bills contain errors.’ And what percent of those mistakes favor the hospital? According to this medical billing advocate, virtually all of them.

    “But the biggest problem? Just flat-out overcharging. Wallack says, ‘For instance, I have another client here who had a breast biopsy and they gave her a support bra after surgery and they charged her $192 for it. If you and I the consumer were to buy one at a time would cost $19.'”

    http://www.wkbt.com/Global/story.asp?S=4095501

  57. 70

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Hey MTR can you explain how the “invisible hand” makes hospitals charge competitive prices? If you’re flat on your back, hooked up to IV tubes, like Roger Rabbit was last summer, you’re gonna hop out of bed and go to the hospital down the street if the hospital you’re in overcharges you, right?

    Hey MTR can you explain to me again how the “invisible hand” protects health care consumers from price gouging? That is, when the “invisible hand” is not busy inside your pants?

  58. 71

    Rev. A.A. Tappman: Anababtist spews:

    [JCH] is a rotten commie. His house is a scale model of PeeWee Herman’s Communist Playhouse.

  59. 72

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    “Tenet Healthcare, the national for-profit hospital chain, places a sticker price on drug charges of 736 percent above its costs across the United States, according to a November [2002] study by the California Nurses Association and the Institute for Health and Socio-Economic Policy.

    “The study examined federal cost reports for approximately 42,000 filings for more than 5,000 U.S. hospitals from fiscal years 1993-1994 through 1999-2000, the most recent data available.

    “The charges are for billings to all payers, including Medicare and private health maintenance organizations (HMOs), and include both in-patient and outpatient filings.

    “In California, where Tenet has been accused of pressuring heart patients to undergo unneeded heart surgeries …, five Tenet hospitals … have markup charges of more than 1,400 percent.

    “The nurses charge that the huge drug markups by Tenet and other hospital systems are a major component of rising healthcare costs.

    “Over the past seven years, average drug markups over cost for all Tenet hospitals nationally have jumped from 488 percent in fiscal year 1993-1994 to 736 percent in 1999-2000.

    “Nationally for all U.S. hospitals, the markup has risen from 302 percent to 334 percent.”

    http://multinationalmonitor.or.....names.html

  60. 73

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Studies show hospitals vary dramatically in quality of care:

    “MONDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) — Patients in the highest-rated, five-star hospitals in the United States are at a 65 percent lower chance of dying than patients in the lowest-rated, one-star hospitals, according to a study released Monday by HealthGrades, a health-care ratings company.

    “If all hospitals included in the study performed at the five-star level, the lives of more than 273,000 Medicare patients could have potentially been saved from 2002 to 2004, the study said.”

    http://www.healthfinder.gov/ne.....cID=528557

  61. 74

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Now why don’t you wingnuts tell me again that doctors need to be protected from their patients, instead of the other way around.

  62. 75

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Quick Facts:

    The U.S. has approximately 700,000 doctors.
    The U.S. has approximately 160,000 wrongful deaths per year from medical malpractice.

  63. 76

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Now why don’t you wingnuts tell me again that doctors are paying exorbitant insurance rates to line the pockets of trial lawyers.

  64. 77

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    When only 33.6% of the premium money collected by the insurance companies is paid in claims, that means 66.4% of the premiums paid by doctors PLUS whatever investment returns the insurance companies earn on the invested premium money stays in the insurance companies’ coffers. They use it for administrative costs, shareholder profits — and multimillion dollar CEO and executive salaries. That — not lawsuits — is what doctors are paying for.

  65. 79

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Now why don’t you wingnuts tell me again how lawsuits are responsible for the malpractice insurance crisis and how limiting lawsuits and capping damage awards will lower the premiums doctors pay.

    If doctors want lower malpractice premiums, the solution is not so-called “tort reform,” but regulating the insurance industry.

  66. 80

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    A report by former Missouri Insurance Commissioner Jay Angoff published by the Kansas City Star in July 2005 showed the insurance industry is price-gouging doctors.

    Angoff studied 15 major medical malpractice insurers, and found that between 2000 and 2004, this group raised their net premiums by 120.2%, to $4.2 billion, while their net claim payments rose by 5.7%, to $1.4 billion. As a result, claims paid as a percentage of premiums collected dropped from 69.9% in 2000 to 33.6% in 2004.

    For the complete report, see http://www.centerjd.org/ANGOFFReport.pdf

    Byline: JULIUS A. KARASH and ALAN BAVLEY

    Jul. 8–Medical malpractice insurers in recent years have reaped a windfall in premiums that have far outstripped their claim payouts, a report issued by consumer groups said Thursday.

    The report, written by former Missouri Insurance Commissioner Jay Angoff, contends that the amount of premiums collected by 15 major medical malpractice insurers has more than doubled over the past five years. At the same time, the report found that the companies’ claim payouts have remained essentially flat.

    INSURERS CAUSE MED MALPRACTICE ‘CRISIS': Medical malpractice insurers in recent years have reaped a windfall in premiums that have far outstripped claim payouts, consumer groups reported 7/7/05, according to the Kansas City Star. The report, written by former Missouri Insurance Commissioner Jay Angoff, contends that the amount of premiums collected by 15 major medical malpractice insurers has more than doubled over the past 5 years. At the same time, the companies’ claim payouts have remained essentially flat. Malpractice insurers as a group raised their net premiums between 2000 and 2004 by 120.2%, to about $4.2 bln, even though their net claim payments rose by only 5.7%, to about $1.4 bln. As a result, the amount of claim payments made as a percentage of premiums dropped from 69.9% in 2000 to 33.6% in 2004.

  67. 81

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The truth is that malpractice judgments amount to less than 1% of total U.S. health care costs. Administrative expenses in the government-run Medicare program amount to about 1/2 of 1% of total spending, whereas administrative expenses in private-sector health insurance take over 15% of each consumer dollar. No wonder the health insurance industry is one of the top three contributors to the GOP. American consumers of medical care are getting ripped off, but not by lawyers. Not by doctors, either. They’re getting ripped off by the health insurance industry and the pharmaceutical industry, which also is one of the top three contributors to the GOP. So there you have it — the insurance companies and drug companies are two of the three top contributors to the GOP, and both industries are bleeding consumers white. No wonder they need to buy protection from the political party willing to sell it to them. What will help doctors and consumers is more, not fewer, lawyers and more, not fewer, lawsuits and more, not less, government regulation — as long as it’s targeted against the two industries who are robbing us blind.

  68. 83

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Rising insurance premiums are NOT a result of “runaway” jury verdicts. In fact, the total dollars awarded by juries in malpractice cases has been falling for several years. Insurance premiums rose anyway. Why?

    The answer lies in the structure of the insurance industry’s revenue stream. Insurance companies get money only ways, premiums paid by policyholders, and by investment returns on the premium money.

    When the stock market does poorly and interest rates are low, insurance companies earn less on the invest premium money, so to pay claims and administrative premiums, they have to get more money from their only other revenue source: Premium payments by customers. So they raise premiums.

    We have been in a low-investment-return environment for over 5 years now. THAT, not jury awards, is why insurance rates have been climbing.

  69. 84

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Republicans do have a reason for wanting so-called “tort reform.” As Goldy accurately pointed out, the GOP objective in pushing “tort reform” is to defund the Democratic Party. Trial lawyers are the biggest single source of campaign donations for Democratic Party activitgies and Democratic candidates. Republicans figure if they can reduce trial lawyers’ incomes, the trial lawyers will donate less to the Democrats, making the Democrats less able to compete with Republican candidates. THAT is why the GOP wants to take away the right to sue from patients harmed by doctors, and consumers harmed by dangerously defective products. It has NOTHING to do with helping doctors or lowering prices for patients and consumers. It is manipulation for political gain, pure and simple.

  70. 85

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Comment on 60

    Studies have shown the states that have enacted “tort reform” and capped medical malpractice damages do not necessarily have lower insurance premiums for doctors.

  71. 86

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    55

    “The same sort of dissembling is going on with McGavick. Three weeks of TV ads and never a mention of his party affiliation. Comment by Tree Frog Farmer— 2/22/06 @ 6:24 pm”

    That’s because the GOP label doesn’t sell real well these days. McGavick has enough sense to hide from voters the fact he’s affiliated with the party of lies and corruption. Wait and see, he’s going to hatch some gutter smear against Cantwell.

  72. 87

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    44

    “One is politics the other starts wars. You choose. Comment by bill— 2/22/06 @ 6:11 pm”

    Sorry, Bill, we’re not in a position to choose — the other side has already made this choice for us. To wit, Newt Gingrich again, in a 1988 speech to his fellow Republicans:

    “ … this is a civil war, that … has to be fought with the scale and duration and savagery that is only true of civil wars. While we are lucky in this country that our civil wars are fought at the ballot box, not on the battlefields, nonetheless it is a civil war.”

  73. 88

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Bill — do you think the president, congressmen, and political party who have run the most corrupt and incompetent administration since Grant deserve respect? Explain why.

  74. 89

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Bill — do you think a president who starts a war, lies about the reasons for going to war, authorizes torture, tries to cover up the torture, lies about the torture, spies on American citizens who have not broken any laws without legal authority to do so, lies about spying on American citizens, and when caught spying on American citizens lies about his reasons for doing it, deserves respect? Explain why.

  75. 90

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Bill — do you respect Ann Coulter? do you think it’s perfectly alright for her to publicly advocate putting liberals in “concentration camps” and “executing” us? Do you think it’s okay for Pat Robertson to publicly pray for the deaths of Supreme Court justices or the leader of a foreign country? If so, please explain why you think extremists who make outrageous statements deserve respect.

  76. 91

    Rev. A.A. Tappman: Anababtist spews:

    Insurance companies don’t make their money off of insurance premiums. They make it off investments. Paying out big judgements here and there doesn’t hurt them a bit.

    Disasters like Katrina hurt them and you will see them avoid paying and delay paying as long as they can. If they can keep you waiting long enough you’ll probably accept less money just to get something.

    Here’s a life insurance joke:

    An agent sells his best friend a worthless but x-pensive whole life policy. His friend pays on it for 20 years and then discovers it’s a worthless policy. He asks his friend: “How could you decieve me for 20 years while I paid for this worthless policy?”

    The agent says, “Worthless! What do you mean wothless? Look at all those years of peace of mind that you had!”

  77. 92

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    34, 37

    Sorry bill, while I appreciate your sentiments, respect is a two-way street and since the Republicans have chosen to show extreme disrespect to our side and Democratic office holders, we have decided to reciprocate. They started the name-calling and disrespect, so they have to stop first. The ball’s in their court, it’s their move.

  78. 93

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    39

    “Why are modern politics becomming so rancorous and unforgiving and uncomprimising? Its this sort of disrespect. Comment by bill— 2/22/06 @ 6:07 pm”

    Bill — the Republicans are squarely to blame. In his book, “Blinded by the Right,” David Brock quoted from an Esquire Magazine article by John Taylor:

    “Newt [Gingrich] also introduced a new style of Republicanism, based on confronting and demonizing the liberal culture that supported the big government idea. Newt understood that conservatism thrives only when it has an enemy …. No longer would the Democrats simply be opposed; they would be destroyed. …

    “Newt’s overarching strategy was to portray the differences between the two parties as at root moral, not political, laying the rhetorical groundwork for an offensive …. He used certain outrageously stigmatizing language, long a hallmark of right-wing political organizing, to caricature the opposition as immoral, even evil. … Newt called Democrats ‘sick,’ ‘grotesque,’ ‘loony,’ ‘stupid,’ ‘corrupt,’ ‘anti-family,’ and ‘traitors.’ … In Esquire, Taylor concluded, ‘Gingrich offers up a history of American values in a scheme so hysterically partisan, so transparently dishonest, so willfully stupid, that it’s impossible to believe even Newt himself would expect anyone to take it seriously.’ But Newt did take himself seriously, as did legions of other right-wingers across the country ….”

  79. 94

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Reply to 28

    “Your whole premise is based on the Govennor having intervened … I have seen nothing of the sort. Would you care to provide the multiple citations …”

    http://www.king5.com/health/st.....33918.html
    http://www.komotv.com/stories/42004.htm
    http://www.kirotv.com/news/7340459/detail.html
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.c.....al22m.html
    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/.....ctice.html
    http://www.theolympian.com/app.....S/60222051

    It’s not Goldy’s (or my) responsibility to provide you with links to news stories you’re too lazy (or illiterate) to read/listen to. I’m posting these links to demonstrate to this blog’s readers what an ignorant fuck you are.

  80. 95

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Hey wingnuts, what are you waiting for? Better hurry to book your flight on the anti-union airline, or the plane might crash without you on board.

  81. 96

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    ALASKA AIRLINES HAS ANOTHER IN-FLIGHT EMERGENCY TODAY

    “Alaska Airlines flight turns around after pressure problem

    “09:03 PM PST on Wednesday, February 22, 2006
    “By GLENN FARLEY / KING 5 News

    “SEATTLE – An Alaska Airlines flight from Ontario, Calif., to Seattle had to turn around and land in Los Angeles due to pressurization problems Wednesday morning. It was the fourth time in a week that the airline had to make an unscheduled landing.”

    For complete story, see http://www.king5.com/topstorie.....38a20.html

  82. 97

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Without Gregoire, there would be no Hanford cleanup (and the billions of dollars of federal money and thousands of jobs it brings to our state), tobacco companies would still be marketing cigarets to kids, and WSDOT would eventually have to close highways 99 and 520, effectively shutting Seattle (and Washington’s economy) down.

    Rossi’s accomplishments? He supervised a part-time janitor when he was in college.

  83. 99

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    19

    “#1 YOU VOTED FOR CHRISSY”

    So did I, and proud of it! If I had voted for Rossi, I’d be ashamed to tell anybody.

  84. 100

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    27

    “As a crook Rossi has managed to do rather well. And ha has managed to fool voters in past elections. But here is the thing if he had the balls to rake in a million plus as only a state Senator how corrupt would he be as a Governor? Comment by Particle Man— 2/22/06 @ 5:43 pm”

    Rossi is just what the Republicans want and need — a man who hangs around with criminals, has no conscience, and is willing to sell state government to shady developers and businessmen for a measly couple million in favors.

  85. 101

    marks spews:

    bill,

    They’ve just inched the prices up over time, setting prices for most procedures out of reach for most people.

    If you are talking elective procedures, I would agree with that sentiment. If I wanted a pect augmentation, I would expect it to cost serious cash. But for going to a doctor for the common cold?

    Naturally, someone will say that the common cold has increased it’s presence, thus increasing prices. At what point do the medical insurance haves decide the medical insurance have-nots are freeloading? Is there such a thing?

  86. 102

    RUFUS spews:

    65

    You have to consider false claims too. Who was it recently that filed a false claim…. hmmmm… he worked in radio… ran for congress…. dammit … oh Mike Webb. A donkacrat through and through.

  87. 103

    bill spews:

    Reading that over, it needs a touch more explaination I think.

    Insurance companies have a standard payout for a given procedure. They all use pretty much the same list. Over time that list has effectivly fixed prices for doctors. Noone is stupid enough to ask for less and asking for more is pointless, those prices are so inflated no doctor would ever get more.

    They’ve just inched the prices up over time, setting prices for most procedures out of reach for most people.

    Anyway thats why I think insurance is going up. Cause it makes their profits go up.

  88. 104

    bill spews:

    Hey particle man, if you spent fifteen minutes reading this board, you’d know I voted against Mr Rossi. What I am saying is that it is entirely possible to make a point at a grade level higher than third.

    Yeh, marks, I hear a lot about the theory, but it seems noone is comparing to what is happening in other states or even with what happened in this state twenty years ago. It seems to me that when a guy comes to my door telling me about a pest problem I have its a good idea to look down the street for an exterminator truck.

  89. 106

    REV Jesse [JCH] Jackson spews:

    > “The taxpayer: That’s someone who works for the federal government but
    > doesn’t have to take the civil service examination.” – Ronald Reagan

  90. 107

    marks spews:

    Bill @30,

    You are, of course, correct to want to discuss the numbers for accuracy’s sake. I don’t have them. I can discuss the theory, but I’m sure that is what you are familiar with. Sorry, but malpractice (despite my medical insurance premium) is not my strong suit…

  91. 108

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    Can anybody imagine Dino Rossi hammering out this compromise? Anybody? Didn’t think so.

  92. 111

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    The same sort of dissembling is going on with McGavick. Three weeks of TV ads and never a mention of his party affiliation.

  93. 112

    Particle Man spews:

    Interesting how Bill does not defend his crooked hero and only askes that we stop calling him what he is. Hmmmm. Sad.

  94. 113

    marks spews:

    bill,

    Somebody using my name in vain? (sigh)

    As for name calling, well, I think politics has devolved since I first started voting. Now, instead of debate, we have sound byte…

  95. 114

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    When money and position buy lies and slander from every bully pulpit, I’ll take the ‘leveller’ path. Putting lipstick on a pig doesn’t make it less a pig. Dino Rossi was the grossest sort of stealth candidate. The more you know him, the less he deserves your respect.

  96. 115

    bill spews:

    I dont, I do think that a majority of his voters deserve respect. I disagree with their politics, but I cant say that I think their politics makes them worthy of name calling.

  97. 116

    marks spews:

    bill @34 & 37

    Good on you, bill. I always called President Clinton, (drum beat, please,………..)

    President Clinton.

    For the same reason…

  98. 118

    Particle Man spews:

    And church lady says…”He seems like such a nice young man” Just then her wallet is lost for ever.

  99. 121

    bill spews:

    Why are modern politics becomming so rancorous and unforgiving and uncomprimising? Its this sort of disrespect.

  100. 122

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    Ah, but you assume that I have respect for many of the people who voted for Rossi. Not necesarilly the case. Think about it.

  101. 123

    Particle Man spews:

    Respect for the Rossi base = repect for wingnuts
    respect for the Rossi swing voter = respect for fools

  102. 126

    bill spews:

    There is a major difference between disagreeing with someone and calling them names in public. One is common, the other is callous. One is politics the other starts wars. You choose.

  103. 127

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    Ahem, I also do not feel the need of a ‘hall monitor’ for my political discourse. . . .
    Look about you, then tell me again about how this is a ‘garden party.’

  104. 129

    bill spews:

    He tree frog, guess what. Dino Rossi got almost have the votes. You might try using his name. As with the presidency and govenorship, guess what, making fun of something as stupid as a name is both a tard move and disrespectful for all of those folks who did vote for Mr Rossi. Have a bit of decency, ok?

  105. 130

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    Sleaze, and more sleaze, is the pervasive hallmark of the neoconvicts. Bush and Lossi share this trait.
    Christine Gregoire is the real deal. You wingnuts just cringe when your inadequacy is called up in the face of someone who can get things done, not just prate smoke and mirrors.

  106. 131

    bill spews:

    Danno, I have made no secret that I don’t like President Bush, regardless of the fact that I am not a democrat. Still I call him President Bush, not the million other derivative terms that have become so common. Want to know why? Because as the elected head of the country he does represent both the country and the presidency. Making fun of him over something as trivial as his name is insulting to the US. By the same token, so is making fun of a govenor of a state insulting to all the citizens of the state.

  107. 132

    Particle Man spews:

    Danny, here is the thing. You can call me names if you want but your boy is a crook and remains under investigation. One of these days the chief will call you in, point to scar face and say “book em Danno”

  108. 134

    Danno spews:

    Particle Head, your red (as in Socialist) roots are showing. To you anybody with any wealth or money must be a crook. Souns pretty much like sour grapes to me. Must be tough to be so bitter all the time.

    “Call me Chris”tine is still a shrill bitch, no matter, she will not last.

  109. 135

    timman spews:

    Please insert an appropriate ‘Not’ as to when I I have seen the Govennor do any work. She has been strangely quiet!

  110. 136

    bill spews:

    Tim, I am still waiting on some sort of documentation that there actually is a problem with medical malpractice. Seems both parties jumped on that band wagon, but noone ever really stopped to demonstrate that there is a problem other than to say, “trust us, all the doctors in the state are going somewhere else if we dont ‘fix’ it”.

    Course since malpractice is pretty much a cost of business thing for doctors anywhere in this country, I am still not convinced that there is a problem much less what the right solution is.

    How about some real numbers on this issue. Oh and before someone throws a bunch of dollar figures up, how about a comparision with other places and times. As we found during the last election cycle, raw numbers in isolation are worse than pointless, they are misleading.

  111. 137

    timman spews:

    Goldy,

    Your whole premise is based on the Govennor having intervened or worked on this problem. I have seen nothing of the sort. Would you care to provide the multiple citations to support your position so we can all applaud!!

    Tim (I am not holding my breathe)

  112. 138

    Particle Man spews:

    As a crook Rossi has managed to do rather well. And ha has managed to fool voters in past elections. But here is the thing if he had the balls to rake in a million plus as only a state Senator how corrupt would he be as a Governor?

  113. 141

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    The wingnuts will scream and gnash their teeth. Won’t make a bit of difference to Chris Gregoire. She just gets better and better. Dino Lossi has very little shelf life left. . .to know him is to be unimpressed. . .a sort of low-rent GWB. . .

  114. 147

    Particle Man spews:

    Belltowner, Rossi is a redouchelicon who agreed that public service was worthless until he figured out how to line his pockets by buying buildings with the most powerful lobbyists and how to get huge commissions for doing nothing but voting the right way. Prior to those days he was happy stealing money from retired folks by brokering shady real-estate deals while being mentored by a felon.

  115. 149

    Particle Man spews:

    Oh and Danny… Rossi is a crook and next time that will be made clear. If he wants any chance of saving face he will dig a hole for himself and hide there for the next 10+ years while we all enjoy the great leadership of the governor we have now.

  116. 151

    spews:

    The Redouchelicans see public service as inherently worthless. Chris Gregoire has served honorably in positions such as Department of Ecology, Attorney General and now Governor. At this point the only people who have outright contempt for her are the legally mentally ill, such as Richard Pope and Stefan Sharkansky. She has done some very hard things like passing a roads bill, a water agreement and now a medical malpractice agreement. If it is hard to do or impossible, Chris has a determination to get the job done.

    Meanwhile, Dino Rossi brokers agreements between imaginary insurance people and imaginary lawyers while in line at QFC. Way to go Dino!

  117. 152

    Particle Man spews:

    My post on thus subject is over on Washblog here is the link: http://www.washblog.com/story/2006/2/21/12489/1791
    An even greater success brokered by our Governor involves the water policy bill which follows her amazing leadership in bringing warring factions together. The most outspoken praise comes directly from republicans. Water issues have been at a road block since the early 90’s and the byproduct of Gregoire’s leadership is great for the people of Eastern and Western Washington.

  118. 155

    John Barleycorn spews:

    Three years from now Chrissie Gregoire will be lookin’ for a job, and it’ll be tough: the only thing she’s ever done is exist on the government dole, going from one job to another, hogging it up at the government trough.

    Same story for Ronnie-boy Sims. He’s always looking for a way to improve King County with everyone else’s $$$$$$$$.

    Democrats are not “liberals.” They’re socialists.

  119. 156

    marks spews:

    Goldy,

    Read the article and the agreement looks promising. Anything is better than status quo…

    As to your statement:
    just like so-called “right to work” legislation and its resulting blow to organized labor – has always been the opportunity to defund the Democratic Party. (Just take a look at the electoral shift in Texas for an example of how successful that strategy can be.)

    The shift did not take place because of right to work. The shift was demographic in nature, and the only reason the Dems continued to win the legislature in TX during the 90s was the outstanding job they did gerrymandering the lines after the 1990 census.

    Right to work in TX was instituted (in its latest form) in 1993. See this . In this story, you will read the pro-business side of the right to work equation. And yes, it has managed to destroy the mandatory enrollment in unions. Yet, my wife can testify as a UFCW member, the unions are still here.

  120. 158

    Cougar spews:

    Danno, Rossi will look like the ass kissing wingnut that he has always looked at. He is probably at this very minute crying with his handlers as his ‘payday’ in the lobbying industry is getting choked off.

  121. 160

    Drivel spews:

    What this world really needs is only 10 illegal Mexicans to move next door to JCH (where ever he lives in his fantasy world)! He would be scared shitless and never utter another peep.

  122. 161

    REV Jesse [JCH] Jackson spews:

    WASH needs ten million Mexican illegals to move to Seattle. All will need free health care, education, and social services. All will have 8 kids for free, and all will need to attend U of W for free. Lots more crime and drugs. Taxes will triple to pay for these services, and Republicans will just leave. And yes, RR, all will vote Democrat. Ah, the perfect Hillary Village!!!!!

  123. 162

    Cougar spews:

    Christine Gregoire will be re-elected by a landslide in two more years. She has all of the top qualities of a fantastic governor. Sure, she will make missteps along the way but her overall approval rating in 2008 will be above 60%. Sorry wingnuts…..if you don’t like it……try Ohio or Tennessee

  124. 163

    JDB spews:

    It is not a bad compromise, although what is really needed is insurance reform. Doctors should not be paying what they are for malpractice, but you don’t fix that problem by denying the injured a right to recover.

  125. 164

    For the Clueless spews:

    From standing up to the screeching right in the election contest to negotiating compromises between feuding parties, Christine Gregoire has made me proud I voted for her.

    We who support her have to work hard against complacency otherwise we’ll end up with a stealth reactionary like Rossi.

  126. 165

    marks spews:

    bill @61

    It seems to me that when a guy comes to my door telling me about a pest problem I have its a good idea to look down the street for an exterminator truck.

    Roger that! (Um, Roger Rabbit, that was only a form of stating my agreement)…

    I almost agree that there is no problem. I say “almost” only because there is a problem in which every year my health care costs go up. The theory is (I’m sure you have heard) that it is malpractice. I’m just a weee bit skeptical that malpractice is the main issue. Any thoughts as to why malpractice is not the main problem?

    And for you folks out there who want to compare my post to Ann Landers…

    You’re welcome :)

  127. 166

    bill spews:

    I just think that its a little bit glib to say that health costs are going up because of malpractice suits. Last I looked (and I can’t support this, but I kinda recall reading something about it a couple of years ago) malpractice payouts are a tiny fraction of a percent of the cost of medicine. Seems to me that capping payouts is just a fancy way of saying ‘welching on a bet’ if youll pardon the expression. And attornys tend to like settlements anytime over a trial. Who gets screwed either way? We do thats who. Sounds like both parties are more worried about the good of their party than the good of the state.

    I think a better place to look for problems is multi-tiered pricing with increased prices for those with insurance, and medical equipment that costs far more to captive consumers in hospital rooms than anyone would choose to pay at a drugstore.

    Fact is, emergency medicine is effectively a monopoly in this country, go ahead and try shopping around while bleeding. And hospitals keep using that fact to charge hundreds of times what they pay for supplies.

    And when you stop to ask your self why, you’ll note that they dont charge those amounts to those without insurance, in fact it seems to me they pretty much charge everyone the same amount as a normal copay on insurance.

    Im thinking that the insurance companies have actually inflated pricing in medicine. This makes folks feel forced to buy their services.

    But thats just my opinion, your milage may vary.