Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Finally, A Conservative Politician Speaking The Truth About Medical "Tort Reform"

Hear that sound? It is, FINALLY, the rush of fresh air clearing the room of a stale, stenchy debate over medical "tort reform" that has festered for too long. Former Senator Fred Thompson has weighed in on the fallacy of the medical/insurance industry's never ending fixation on limiting the rights of Americans through restrictive caps on damages in medical malpractice cases.

In his op ed piece, he cuts to the heart of the "medical tort reform" debate: that government imposed caps on damages are anything but a "conservative" principle:

To me, conservatism shows due respect for a civil justice system that is rooted in the U.S. Constitution and is the greatest form of private regulation ever created by society. Conservatism is individual responsibility and accountability for damages caused, even unintentionally. It's about government closest to the people and equal justice with no special rules for anybody. It's also about respect for the common-law principle of right to trial by jury in civil cases that was incorporated into the Seventh Amendment to the Constitution.

As someone who practiced in the courts of Tennessee for almost 30 years, I believe that a Tennessee jury of average citizens, after hearing all the facts, under the guidance of an impartial judge and limited by the constraints of our appellate courts, is more likely to render justice in a particular case than would one-size-fits-all rules imposed by government, either state or federal

You have to wonder why hard core conservatives or Tea Partiers, who supposedly revere The Constitution and espouse "limited government," seek to impose one size fits all caps on damages in all fifty states, and trample the Seventh Amendment right to trial by jury. As a matter of conservative principles and logic, hard caps simply make no sense.

So why are Republicans making federally imposed caps the centerpiece of their health care reform? He subtly hints at the reason:

"I recognize that several other states have imposed such rules. It's understandable. The pressure to do so is very strong."

Translated, the American Medical Association, The Chamber Of Commerce, and the insurance industry have been clamoring for it for years, and they heavily support the same politicians who are currently pushing for these laws.

So much for "conservative values" or the sanctity of The Constitution. Instead of adhering to either, the "cap your rights" gang in Congress is borrowing a slogan straight out of the movie Jerry Maguire: "Show us the money...and we'll give you what you want."

No comments: