Justinian Lane

How to keep doctors in your state? Here’s a solution:

Rather than mindlessly regurgitating American Tort Reform Association propaganda, Pennsylvania State Representative Josh Shapiro has come up with a solution that benefits patients and doctors: medical school loan forgiveness for doctors who practice medicine in Pennsylvania.

HARRISBURG, April 16 -- State Rep. Josh Shapiro, D-Montgomery, introduced legislation today that would strengthen Pennsylvania's
health-care system by encouraging more doctors to practice medicine in the Commonwealth...

Shapiro's proposal (H.B. 1093), which has 23 co-sponsors, would create a medical school loan forgiveness program for doctors who promise to practice in Pennsylvania for 10 years.

"We already have world-class medical schools that attract top medical school students to Pennsylvania," Shapiro explained. "The problem is,
because of a variety of factors, those students leave Pennsylvania when they graduate med school. My legislation creates incentives to keep
those doctors in Pennsylvania to practice and care for our citizens."

Source: Shapiro bill will help Pa. attract and keep doctors - 4/17/2007

Tuition to the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine is about $40,000 per year.  Depending upon the details of the bill (which aren't yet available on the Pennsylvania Legislature's website), H.B. 1093 has the potential to save doctors in excess of $10,000 per year for ten years.  This is a concrete, quantifiable savings that applies equally to all doctors.

Proposed tort "reforms", on the other hand, wouldn't apply equally to all doctors.  Those in high-risk specialities purportedly will see a bigger savings than those in less risky practice areas.  And of course, doctors without malpractice insurance won't save a dime in malpractice premiums.  Worse still, even the malpractice insurers themselves won't make anything more than vague promises of premium reductions in exchange for things such as damage caps.  Even if they wrote the legislation themselves (which they often do) insurers couldn't come up with any package of "reforms" that would guarantee a specific monetary savings to doctors with malpractice insurance.  In some cases, insurance rates have even gone up after "reforms" have been passed!

Rather than restricting the rights of injured patients, Shapiro (and 23 co-sponsors) have proposed a solution that benefits patients and doctors at the expense of neither.  Why not give this sort of a solution a chance before dismantling the civil justice system?  Surely the "reform" movement can't object to tuition forgiveness for doctors...

Cross posted to Corpreform

Justinian Lane: Author Bio | Other Posts
Posted at 8:04 PM, Apr 17, 2007 in Medical Malpractice
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Justinian: $10,000 is a week's wage for the busy doctor. It is a bad half week's wages for the legal predators seeking the destruction of clinical care in Pennsylvania. It will not keep anyone in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This Democrat Party partisan, political hack is grandstanding. Instead, he should try to get the Commonwealth to show the doctor a little respect.

Pennsylvania has among the most actively hostile, and disrespectful conduct toward doctors of any state. The Governor, a lawyer, wants clinical care destroyed, and is actively working to achieve that aim.

A local ER closed for its inability to come up with its insurance payment. Car crash victims had to be flown to Delaware. He got a little embarassed. He sent the hospital a check to pay its insurance bill, so they could reopen the ER. He did nothing to address the reasons for the insurance bill, namely ruinous frivolous lawsuits. He reopened the ER to get it out of the news.

This is the same Governor whose Democrat Party hacks running disaster management, left 1000 people stranded in the snow on I78 on Valentine's Day, some without their diabetes medicine. The neighbors, in the houses along the road, had to feed and bring water to these Democrat Party incompetence victims. The Democrat Party hack on her way to Harrisburg? She used her SUV to climb over the shoulder and to get out of that trap. No ticketing of the Democrat hack by Rendell's state police. Try doing that if your are not a Democrat Party hack in Pennsylvania.

The best explanation this active destruction and disrespect is that there are too many doctors. The lawyers running the state have commodified them. Doctors should leave in droves. Have people die waiting for care, as they do all over the socialist paradises of Europe, your favs. Docs return when the public has had enough of the corrupt cult criminals running this judicial hellhole of a state.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | April 17, 2007 8:54 PM

Shapiro's bill is a non-solution to a real problem. It might encourage neophyte doctors who graduated from medical schools in Pennsylvania, but offers no relief to physicians who have already paid off their student loans, or physicians who graduated from medical schools elesewhere.

If this is the best that Harrisburg can come up with, Pennsylvania deserves to lose doctors to less hostile environments. I'm not saying that the plan doesn't have some merit but not if this is instead of meaningful tort reform

Posted by: Paul W Dennis | April 18, 2007 2:22 AM

Supremacy: If docs in PA are making $10k a week, they can afford $100k a year in malpractice premiums and should quit whining.

Paul: The bill is a great start. Maybe the coverage should be expanded to graduates of other medical schools, or even to current physicians. One of the supposed goals of tort "reform" is to attract new doctors to a state. Here's a way to do so. Can't we give it a shot before we resort to limiting the rights of the injured?

Posted by: Justinian Lane | April 18, 2007 9:31 AM

Justinian: True, they can afford $100K in insurance. They cannot afford $250K in insurance, the disrespect, the legal terrorism of the government, the relentless attempts to destroy clinical care. If my doctor writes a prescription, he is not joking. He does not have to be second guessed by an HMO clerk with a high school diploma demanding to know why he wrote it before paying for it as agreed to in my insurance contract. That is pure harassment of the doc. Docs are saying, have a nice day, I'll be seeing you in Indiana or Nevada. Pennsylvania, enjoy your doctor free low cost health care system.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | April 18, 2007 1:28 PM

If docs in PA are making $10k a week, they can afford $100k a year in malpractice premiums and should quit whining

JUstinian that money (even if is true) was their sweat and blood after many years of training . Don't be so generous with other peoples money.

Posted by: Anirban | April 18, 2007 1:49 PM

I don't mean to downplay the amount of time and effort it takes to become an M.D. I'll be the first to admit that I could never do it. That said, I want to point out that most doctors in PA don't make $500k per year, and most doctors don't pay $100k in insurance premiums. My flippancy was directed more towards Supremacy's fake numbers.

Posted by: Justinian Lane | April 18, 2007 2:52 PM

Justinian: You would enjoy England. There surgeons are fighting for a salary of $90,000, with the same skills as ours.

Guess what. The surgeons leave at 5 PM, come hell or high water.

Guess what. The wait for emergency surgery, that means, an ice pick is sticking out from your flank, and the blood spurting from an artery is making nice bouncy little jets in the air, like a fountain at a wedding, except in red, the wait for the emergency removal of said ice pick? 6 days.

Guess what. To keep you alive, the equally grumpy, equally underpaid, equally bad attitude nurses have pumped in dozens of AIDS, mad cow disease, and hepatitis riddled blood transfusions. If you survive, you go home with a nice souvenir of underpaid, socialist surgical care.

I will stick with my rich, motivated, respected surgeon anytime, until the lyin', thievin' lawyer drives him from my state.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | April 18, 2007 6:46 PM

Supremacy Claus,
You have never been to England. You have never needed emergency care in Europe. That much is obvious from your asinine ramblings.

Emergency care in Europe is much better than the USA. Canadian healthcare is worlds better than the USA. I resent the extreme costs I pay for health insurance and the crappy care I get for such a high price. I shouldn't have to pay $12,000/yr for my family of three to get health coverage with a $2,000/person deductible. But I do. The reason for it is we have a tremendously inefficient system of health insurance companies who don't create any value and prey on doctors, hospitals, patients, and the uninsured.

You could create any healthcare system and it would be an improvement over our existing one here in the USA. Medicare is a better system than private healthcare here.

I am ready for government provided healthcare. It sure beats United Healthcare paying its ceo $1 billion for screwing over people who provide healthcare and the patients paying for it.

Posted by: Steve | April 19, 2007 5:26 PM

Steve: I have spoken to many tragic victims of British and Canadian health care. We should fight one payer system to the death. If you liked Walter ReedCare, you will love it when it spreads to the entire nation. Government does nothing well, no exceptions. Sole posible exception, collect the rent.

I invite all doctors to resign from all payment systems, and turn to prepaid retainers, even the poor can afford by cutting back on the Cheetos budget. Boycott the mortal enemy of clinical care, the lawyer run government, a 99% subsidiary of the Criminal Cult Enterprise.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | April 19, 2007 8:55 PM

Steve - right on! I don't know why everyone blames the lawyers for everything that goes wrong with healthcare. Like you said, we've got companies like United and other insurers screwing over everyone. They charge us too much for coverage, and then reimburse their doctors nothing.

Hey, I just got a letter today that my doctor dropped out of my plan, so now I need a new doctor. It wasn't a trial lawyer that caused her to stop being available to me. It was a greedy insurance co.

Posted by: Justinian Lane | April 19, 2007 11:24 PM

Justinian: A lawyer gave your insurance company immunity from anti-trust and RICO claims by the doctor. The lawyer gave your insurance company absolute, and unconsionable immunity from accountability to the rate payer. The lawyer prevented the doctor, on pain of prison, from getting together with other doctors to advocate for clinical care. The lawyer hounded the doctor, again on pain of prison, for a mistake in coding on insurance. The lawyer has sued the doctor out the state. The doctor has micromanaged every aspect of clinical care. Then when a mistake occurs, the lawyer is immune. The doctor is responsible. The lawyer has caused the transfer of a $trillion in value from health facilities that closed from intentional lawyer defunding to the pockets of lawyers and businessmen, under the protection of total legal immunity.

I propose a boycott of all lawyers by all product and service providers. Self-help is the sole recourse in this air-tight, self-dealing, thievin', rigged lawyer tyranny.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | April 20, 2007 6:15 PM

Supremacy: It would be nice if self-help were a viable option for most people, but it isn't. Without lawyers and the justice system, I would be pretty powerless if a multibillion dollar corporation wronged me in some way. Then again, without lawyers, there probably wouldn't be any multibillion dollar corporations.

Posted by: Justinian Lane | April 20, 2007 7:05 PM

Justinian: Self-help is lawyer code for kicking someody's ass, as with a baseball bat. It works, but bypasses legal fees, thus is a no-no. You may be referring to pro se (self-representation). That also works well, even in the criminal law. Criminals did just as well as public defenders in their pro se trials. Don't sell yourself short.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | April 21, 2007 11:34 AM

The Canadian experience. Try to stay healthy. Try to not age if you are Canadian. Best of luck.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | April 22, 2007 11:07 AM