ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Downer falls prey to the "dont think too far ahead" syndrome...

Saw this on the always amusing DownLeft blog the other day, and wanted to comment on some of his "desires". It's typical of those on the Left that they don't think too far ahead, only what they want the immediate outcomes to be.

Instead, we're making sure people who are disabled for life due to a doctor's mistake can't get awarded enough money by a jury (how long will $500,000 last if you can't work anymore?)

The damage award caps being sought in Illinois would cap non-economic damages, otherwise known as pain and suffering. This means you wouldnt have to "live" on the $500k, its simply a payment for the pain and suffering you have endured or will continue to endure. Economic damages are separate and not capped. That means that if you can't work because of some doctor's mistake, you'll have a separate payout for economic damages. I.e. the money you would have made, but can't now because your injured.

But Downer, like other lefty's, envisions a system where you hit the payday if you find that a doctor made a mistake. But lets look at where that would take us if we follow it to its logical conclusion. That money has to come from somewhere, there is no magic "hurt by a doctor" money tree. A doctor can't pay for it out of his own pocket, since even the $500,000 amount is more than a single doctor could afford. Instead, it comes from an insurance company. Who, because they don't have a magic money tree either, must raise their revenues to pay for the damages. Their primary method for raising said revenue is to raise the premium payments paid by Doctors. Those doctors also dont have a magic money tree, so they must raise the fees they pay. Since they are typically "capped" on the amount of money they can charge for a given service, they instead leave the medical profession. Either moving their practice to a state with lower premiums, or altogether, since its no longer profitable for them.

So by allowing high tort judgements for non-economic damages, we're actually decreasing the incentive for doctors to practice in the areas where such judgements are possible. This causes a decrease in the available doctors, which decreases medical care for the community. And guess what? Its typically the poorest (uninsured), that get hurt the most, since they can't drive over the state line or take the day off of work to see a doctor.

So in Downer's desire for the poor sap who was the victim of medical malpractice to hit the malpractice lotto, he is condemning other folks to reduced medical care.

And not only that, he's also reducing the availability of jobs. Because, see, those Doctors employee people, from the nurses on their staff, to the clerical workers, to their rent payments for the office building, etc. His desire for "creating more jobs in struggling downstate towns" is impacted negatively by his very desire for the malpractice lotto.

Because see, downstate Illinois is notorious for large judgements on non-economic damages. Which is causing not only doctors, but also insurance carriers, to leave downstate. And taking those jobs with them.

Lets take the next statement in that very same paragraph cited above, by good ol' Downer:
and we're monkeying around with the retirement security of state employees.

Why are they monkeying around with the retirement security of state employees? Is it perhaps because there's no "magic retirement security money tree" either? The state can only get revenue by taxes (or fees, but they are essentially the same thing). Money taken out of the businesses pocket to pay for state workers means there's less money to do business and pay employees. Their own employee's retirement futures. In your world Downer, private sector employees come second to state employees because the state has the guns and the jails. Or your delusional and you think such a magic money tree does exist.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: Brian