Malpractice Editorials Wanted: Accurate Facts, Logic and Reason Are Optional

Write an editorial about medical malpractice. Logic and reason: optional. Just write something. Check out this gem from the Miami Herald:

One aspect of the high price of health care and a lot of waste has been overlooked. That is the outrageous cost of malpractice insurance that doctors pay even if they are competent, responsible and the least likely to be sued.
I am not a doctor or married to a doctor, but I think this cost, along with the debts for their education, must be a huge burden. I do not think that doctors go through what they do to be doctors to become rich. There would be an easier way. However, I do believe that doctors order many extra and very expensive tests, not only to avoid a malpractice suit but to earn extra money to pay for that huge insurance cost.
If there were a public option for malpractice insurance at a reasonable cost (not a giveaway), I think much of these expensive extras would be avoided. Also, I think juries would be less apt to assign unbelievable compensation to those who sued, if they knew the funds were coming from the government insurance pool and not the wealthy insurance companies.

Where do I begin? The medical malpractice issue is being overlooked? Sure, if you are living under a rock.

We need reform because doctors order unnecessary tests because of malpractice rates? Okay, so we have to change our malpractice laws to prevent unethical doctors from running up the bills to pay malpractice premiums? Can you imagine if someone said, “We have to pay lawyers more so they don’t steal from the client’s escrow accounts?” Well, no one would publish that because it is so silly. Yet the Miami Herald feels free to publish something that is arguably much worse. You can certainly argue putting a patient at risk medically is more serious than a lawyer stealing.

Finally, the writer concludes that we should tell the jury that the money comes from a government fund instead of telling them it comes from a big insurance company. Ah, word to the wise, the jury is not told either of these things.

Look, I take no fault with the writer. She is expressing her opinion on something she clearly knows nothing about, which we all do from time to time. But if I wrote an editorial to the Miami Herald decrying the fact that Obama’s health care plan includes feeding small children to lions, would they publish that too? Or can we all agree that we should not publish facts in editorials that we all agree – malpractice lawyers and tort reform advocates – are false?