Kia Franklin

NY Sen. Schneiderman Votes for Us, Against “Harvey’s Law”

I'm proud of how Senator Eric Schneiderman a) stood by his principles and stood up against the squandering of our public funds. Articulating why a proposed bill to subsidize New York medical malpractice insurance is problematic, he identifies the real medical malpractice crisis--the tiny 4% of doctors who are responsible for a whopping 50% (yes, half) of the medical malpractice payouts. The real problem is the lack of effective professional discipline that allows these doctors to keep practicing. The bill he voted against would exacerbate this problem by forcing the vast and overwhelming majority of good doctors to subsidize malpractice insurance for high risk doctors, spreading the costs of their malpractice across the board.

Below is a clip of him explaining why he is voting against the bill. This is the type of thing we need to see more of: representatives who fully grasp the issues and the interests involved, and are willing to stick to their guns and speak out on behalf of what they believe.

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Posted at 8:10 AM, Apr 17, 2008 in Legislation | Medical Malpractice | You Tube
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His speech is the very opposite of grasping the issues; it's parroting trial-lawyer propaganda that was refuted years ago.

For example, the bogus statistic of small X% of doctors responsible for large Y% of payouts is always going to be true simply by random chance. If you fire every single one of those doctors, all you have is X% fewer doctors; the very next year, it's going to be a different small A% of doctors responsible for large B% of payouts, and you've solved nothing; if you don't fire the first group of doctors, that X% of doctors is going to have their payouts decline dramatically as they regress to the mean. The problem is that, with very rare exceptions that aren't driving the problem, medical malpractice payouts have absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the doctor, and everything to do with the risk profile of their practice. The payouts are large because of the legal rules and environment, and, without changing that, there's going to continue to be a malpractice insurance crisis.

Posted by: Ted | April 17, 2008 3:53 PM

I spent a few minutes contemplating which was worse: dishonestly using meaningless statistics to prove a point, or dishonestly insinuating that the MSM had reported allegations of rape as if the allegations were fact.

Comparing rotten apples to rotten oranges is a silly exercise, though.

Posted by: Joe Bingham | April 17, 2008 8:09 PM

The 4%/50% is an idiot statistic, about as meaninglful as the blatherings of Karl Marx.

The vast majority of doctors, good or otherwise, practice in areas of medicine where there is relatively little risk of anything going dramatically wrong OR where they can simply hand off the problem by making a referral to a specialist, who then takes the hit for an alleged misdiagnosis. Certain areas of medicine simply draw more claims, especially specialties where the risk of a bad result always draws a claim, regardless of its merits

Posted by: Paul W Dennis | April 18, 2008 9:14 AM

If we got rid of the 4% of doctors who have the most claims, where will we send our trauma patients, neurosurgical emergencies and our obstetrical patients?

Posted by: throckmorton | April 21, 2008 8:42 AM