Wednesday, March 26, 2008

67 Million Simple Rules

Awhile back I watched Micheal Moore's latest documentary, "Sicko". I've always enjoyed his documentaries, knowing full well he does somewhat "skew" things. Regardless, watching this film will piss you off. But, I think Micheal Moore's appeal is his ability to talk about very controversial subjects, in a way that makes you laugh. Here's a trailer for "Sicko". One of my favorite parts is when President Bush tells a woman that she's a "great American" because she works three jobs:

There is one thing, however, that Michael Moore doesn't really address in the movie. I'm pretty sure that one of the major contributors to outrageously priced healthcare is frivolous malpractice lawsuits. Case in point? Amy Yasbeck, wife of late actor John Ritter.

Most people know that John Ritter (one of the founding fathers for Menage a Trois), died awhile back from aortic disease. His family decided he died unnecessarily, and sued a Burbank hospital. As a result, they received around $14 million in settlements. Now, you'd think that would be more than enough for most people to retire on. Not for Miss Yasbeck.

She REALLY wanted to teach that pesky cardiologist who treated Mr. Ritter a lesson. So, someone (duh, her lawyer) figured how much "earnings" the family lost out on because of his death. In the neighborhood of... oh.... $67 million. Although, she did pledge to use some of the proceeds to further the publics knowledge of "aortic diseases". I've been checking my mail, and wondered why I haven't seen anything yet.

Turns out, the doctors did end up getting cleared of any wrongdoing. Unfortunate for Miss Yasbeck, incredibly fortunate for the general hospital-going public. You see, if she had won, the doctor wouldn't be footing the bill. His malpractice insurance would. Which is why malpractice insurance is so expensive. Which is why the doctor who delivered my son, couldn't deliver my daughter. His malpractice insurance became prohibitively expensive. Largely, I'm sure, due to stupid lawsuits. And who ends up paying more for all of this?

We do.

Are there crappy doctors out there? Yeah. Should they be held accountable? Yeah. Should people screw the public out of their own personal grief and/or greed? HELL no.

So, next time you're deathly ill and debating whether or not to spend the money on a doctor, think of Miss Yasbeck. How should anyone be expected to "go on" with a few paltry millions?

But, my biggest beef in all of this - Michael Moore is filthy rich. I think it's time he looked into a personal trainer. :)

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