Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dear Congressman Burgess:

(a tort reform a day keeps the doctor away)

The Republicans have ideas for health care reform. Just ask them. They'll tell ya. Tort reform, tort reform, tort reform. They have been tort reform telling us about their tort reform ideas for tort reform months. Tort reform.

I got an email from my Congressman, Dr. Michael Burgess, yesterday. Dr. Burgess reminded me that tort reform was sadly lacking from the House health reform bill. On his Congressional Health Care Caucus blog, he made this very interesting statement about the House bill:

"Medical liability reform, which has greatly improved access to health care and lowered costs in Texas, is completely missing."

Dr. Burgess also complained about the length of the House bill, which is a hefty 2000 pages.

I left a comment, but for some reason my comments never seem to appear on his blog. hmm. So just in case you stop by, Dr. Burgess, here are my thoughts:

Surely you know that Texas has the highest level of uninsured residents in the country. More than 25% of the people here have no insurance.

The Dallas Morning News recently did a comprehensive story on health care in the area. They summed it up like this:

"Medical care in Dallas is delivered in a broken market where doctors, hospitals and other providers shower patients with services of diminishing value but staggering cost."

In Texas, those of us who are self-employed are completely on our own to buy individual policies. If we have pre-existing conditions, the only fall-back option is a statewide high risk pool that costs twice as much as an already-expensive individual policy.

Tort reform may be a dandy idea for you and your doctor friends. But it has done diddly-squat for people like me here in Texas. Shame on you for implying otherwise.

As far as the length of the House bill, I do apologize. I realize it is many many pages long. But Dr. Burgess, there is a simple explanation. It includes more than one idea.


1 comment:

  1. SLAP! Ouch... I heard that one! Remember, this is the same party that couldn't campaign and talk about the economy all in the same week... Thank God the other party can multi-task!

    I do agree, however, that some tort reform is needed. Not to the extent the insurance lobbyists would have you do. Ironically, I just finished reading The Appeal by Grisham.