Rep. Eric Cantor has joined the wealthy to support the insurance companies. He has signed a new anti-health care reform petition to repeal the health care bill and replace it with a plan that focuses on restricting medical lawsuits.
First, malpractice liability costs are a small part of the overall health care costs. In fact, medical malpractice costs in the last accounting were less than 1.5 percent of the more than $2 trillion-a- year health care system.
Second, tort reform won't lower costs. Case in point: In 2003, Texas passed a law limiting malpractice awards to $250,000, regardless of the severity of the claim. Since then, the cost of Texas health care has not decreased; it's increased at double the national average.
Also, the state's uninsured rate has remained the highest in the country, spending on diagnostic testing is above the national average, growth in the number of doctors has slowed, and the cost of health insurance has more than doubled.
Third, the costs we should be more concerned about are the costs of medical mishaps themselves, both in dollars and in human suffering.
Every year, 300,000 deaths in hospitals are attributed to "medical mistakes and/or malpractice." Last year, 783,936 Americans died as a result of "health care" they received both in and outside hospitals. Sometimes the "wrong" arm or leg gets cut off, patients get the wrong medication or the wrong dosage, and are injured or die. Who needs protection, patients or the insurance companies?
Insurance companies are making record profits, even in this recession. But that's not enough; they are now seeking government protection for their profits. Will Rep. Cantor desert the people of the 7th District once again and support the insurance companies at any cost?