Friday, February 13, 2009

Legislative Days 17 and 18

Newspaper articles and blogs around the nation are starting to take interest in the Governor's tort deform legislation, SB 101 and SB 108. There is a great post on The PopTart examining this legislative effort and what happened in Michigan, the only state to pass a similar bill to SB 101. The bill didn't bring jobs to Michigan-- and it didn't stop jobs from leaving the state either. All it did was bar a citizen in Michigan who was injured or killed by a pharmaceutical company from seeking justice in a fair court of law.

On Thursday, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee heard testimony and voted on SB 133, an expansion of the Georgia Health Share Volunteers in Medicine Act. This bill would allow nurses, doctors, dentists, etc. to all receive payment in a health clinic and still be immune from liability as long as the patients are poor and receive the care for free.

I understand wanting to reward medical professionals for working in a safety-net clinic. In fact, the GTLA team came up with many ways to reward such a professional. But the committee didn't seem interested in alternatives.

In order to reward a doctor, why must we punish the patient?

Fundamentally, it just seems wrong. Stripping people just above the federal poverty of the Constitutional Rights is unjust.

We will be back in session next Tuesday for Day 19...

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