10/05/2004: Carlton Vogt and the Enterprise Ethics Weblog point us....
to a couple worthwhile items.
I'm sure nobody will be surprised to learn that last year's Medicare "reform" bill has been a boon to everyone but the seniors we were told it would benefit:
What once began as a proposal for $253 billion in drug coverage for seniors four years ago grew to a $400 billion grab bag for a broad spectrum of players in the health-care economy. The staggering costs rose yet another 33 percent when the Bush administration unveiled an estimate this year that it had kept quiet during the 2003 debate over Medicare: $534 billion.Proving, as if we really needed the proof, that ours is a government of the rich, by the health care industry, and for Big Pharma...
Congressional leaders rewarded university medical centers, publicly traded hospital companies, physicians, helicopter ambulance companies, hospice providers, nursing providers, dialysis clinics, insurance firms, and more. The bill benefited premier teaching hospitals from Boston to Houston. Doctors in Alaska got an extra $50 million. Cancer institutes with outreach programs for Native Americans got access to government loans they never have to pay back.
And then there's the constant Repugnican screaming over "tort reform", and how those damn greedy individuals are suing everyone in sight. Well, guess what? An analysis of case filings in Arkansas, Mississippi, Chicago (Cook County, IL) and Philadelphia shows that businesses file four times as many lawsuits as individuals--and are much more likely than individuals to be cited for frivolous lawsuits.
The survey of case filings in two states (Arkansas and Mississippi) and two local jurisdictions (Cook County, Ill., and Philadelphia, Pa.) in 2001 found that businesses were 3.3 to 5.8 times more likely to file lawsuits than were individuals. This comes as businesses and politicians are campaigning to limit citizensí rights to sue over everything from medical malpractice damages to defective products. By way of comparison, the number of American consumers (281 million) outnumbers the number of businesses in America (7 million) by 40 times.This doesn't surprise me in the least. My time in private law practice clearly taught me that businesses are basically litigation machines. If you run a business, it's an absolute certainty that you're going to be sued for some reason (and usually, it's a business related suit filed by another business), and it's very likely that you're going to wind up suing someone (oftimes another business) for some actual or perceived injustice.
The report also found that businesses and their attorneys were 69 percent more likely than individual tort plaintiffs and their attorneys to be sanctioned by federal judges for filing frivolous claims or defenses.
Len on 10.05.04 @ 06:52 PM CST