11182017Headline:

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Greg Webb
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“Defensive Medicine” and Lawsuits Contribute Zero to Rising Health Care Costs

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Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, co-chairs of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, stoke deficit panic with their harsh proposals for slashing spending on the backs of middle-class America by imposing tort reform on Americans, and by proposing that court house doors be closed to those who cannot financially challenge well-monied interests, like insurance companies and large corporations. In actuality, "defensive medicine" has contributed zero percent to the rising cost of healthcare, according to CBO testimony in 2008.

At a time when deficit-reduction proposals need to be taken seriously, these proposals – ones founded upon fallacies and dressed up so as to appear "patriotic" – do nothing but hit the middle and working classes and make it hard for anyone to take them as legitimate attempts at solving escalating national problems.

The national debt, and deficit, are caused primarily because we have been fighting two wars on foreign soil at a time when tax revenue was down. Also, we bailed out the banking industry (not to mention the insurance industry – AIG – and some others) to the tune of $1.5 trillion for conduct it brought on itself through actions and schemes that might get regular folks put in jail. So, in response, the Commission on Fiscal Responsibility wants to take rights of regular taxpayers to sue; great idea: let’s protect the insurance industry some more so its profits can be 200 percent instead of 100 percent, so they can take some more lavish corporate trips to exotic locations.