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  #21  
Old 07-12-2009, 09:50 AM
Star Trek Viewer Star Trek Viewer is offline
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Tort reform means that if you are injured, you can't get as much money as people have traditionally gotten. So, basically, if you've lost your ability to walk because of someone's wrongdoing, you could be arbitrarily limited to, say, $100,000.00 instead of, say, $2 million, including pain and suffering.

Tort reform is often encouraged by conservatives who are rich because it allows the people and corporations who have money to keep it.
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  #22  
Old 07-12-2009, 10:10 AM
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Tort reform means that if you are injured, you can't get as much money as people have traditionally gotten. So, basically, if you've lost your ability to walk because of someone's wrongdoing, you could be arbitrarily limited to, say, $100,000.00 instead of, say, $2 million, including pain and suffering.

Tort reform is often encouraged by conservatives who are rich because it allows the people and corporations who have money to keep it.
I know what tort reform is. I didn't know if this post was a reply to me.

In some cases, such as your example, I don't see anything wrong with a $2 million award when there is gross negligence involved. What I have problem with are the awards like $200 million. Those are the ones costing us all in the form of higher medical bills, co-pays, and insurance premiums.

If tort reform is passed, then it should have a clause that guarantees those savings are passed along to Doctors in the form of lower malpractice insurance premiums and then down to the patients in the form of lower medical cost. If not, then tort reform will only serve to make the fat rich pigs fatter and even more rich!
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  #23  
Old 07-12-2009, 10:31 AM
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I know what tort reform is. I didn't know if this post was a reply to me.

In some cases, such as your example, I don't see anything wrong with a $2 million award when there is gross negligence involved. What I have problem with are the awards like $200 million. Those are the one costing us all in the form of higher medical bills, co-pays, and insurance premiums.

If tort reform is passed, then it should have a clause that guarantees those savings are passed along to Doctors in the form of lower malpractice insurance premiums and then down to the patients in the form of lower medical cost. If not, then tort reform will only serve to make the fat rich pigs fatter and even more rich!
I think that the idea that tort litigation has gone nuts is more of a myth spread by corporatists than anything else.

For example, please see:

http://sctrialattorneys.com/default....ewsletterid=23

It's from a law firm, so yes, there might at first seem to be a bias. But note that it supports its contentions by asking you to research the issue through clicking on links to more unbiased sources.

I am very suspicious of anything I hear on talk radio from people who have made a lot of money from telling people what they think they want to hear and who seem quite uncaring to me. I won't identify these people by name, but I think they are obvious. And these are the people who have most vociferously supported "tort reform," as well as certain failed policies of a certain past administration.
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  #24  
Old 07-13-2009, 03:00 PM
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I think that the idea that tort litigation has gone nuts is more of a myth spread by corporatists than anything else.

For example, please see:

http://sctrialattorneys.com/default....ewsletterid=23

It's from a law firm, so yes, there might at first seem to be a bias. But note that it supports its contentions by asking you to research the issue through clicking on links to more unbiased sources.
Why are malpractice insurance premiums so high? Or is that another myth?

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I am very suspicious of anything I hear on talk radio from people who have made a lot of money from telling people what they think they want to hear and who seem quite uncaring to me. I won't identify these people by name, but I think they are obvious. And these are the people who have most vociferously supported "tort reform," as well as certain failed policies of a certain past administration.
So do you support tort reform?
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  #25  
Old 07-13-2009, 03:06 PM
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I replied earlier without actually going to the site you provided a link to. I went to the site and read it. Right off the bat it uses an example that has nothing to do with the medical or health care side of things. I did not visit any of the sites it provided links to.
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  #26  
Old 07-13-2009, 03:25 PM
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Why are malpractice insurance premiums so high? Or is that another myth?
Because payouts can also be very high? Because any job that has a higher risk of causing physical harm commands high premiums? Because whether or not a doctor messed up court costs are expensive to fight? Because doctors do screw up now and then despite the old view of doctors being gods? Because lots of doctors make alot of money and drive around in Porches?

There is no one reason and all the various 'fixes' to this issue always focus on one thing and conveniently forget the others. "Tort reform" generally just limits lawsuits, nothing more. So the idea: if there are no lawsuits then there is no need for insurance. That does not deal with the reason the lawsuits are there in the first place... except that they think many people who file dont have a case. Sorry but thats for a court to decide, not politicians.

Maybe insurance and such are fine the way they are. After all, by its very nature doctors have peoples lives in the balance. Its not auto insurance.
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  #27  
Old 07-13-2009, 03:35 PM
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TGElder,
I didn't know ethenol required so much fossil fuel to produce. If what you say is true, 3 gallons of fossil fuel to make one gallon of ethenol, then I don't understand how anyone can think it is a benefit to the environment. I have a feeling those numbers are incorrect. Probably more like 1 to 1.

Electric cars ARE the way of the future. Lead acid batteries are no longer the primary way to store energy. Lithium Ion is the current "go-to" technology. You also don't realize that charging a car everyday would be similar to running any other appliance. You are correct that the electrical grid is in need of modernization and improvement. Things like a/c systems and interior lights are also getting more efficient so they are taking less from the grid.

Don't be fooled by the 58 mpg claim for the VW TDI. That was a world record, not it's normal mpg rating. I've made almost 40mpg in my Elantra, yet it is rated at 33 mpg on the highway. Of course I got that mileage by not driving too fast, the wind direction probably helped, and it was all at highway speed.

edit: hesitation of normal diesel engines? I don't know what you mean. Diesel engines produce tons of torque down low in the rpm band. Ever see the redline on a diesel? It's probably wayyyy lower than you think. That is what makes turbos and diesel go so well together. The diesel engine produces low end "grunt" for acceleration on it's own, then the turbo has time to spool up and produce even more horse power higher in the rpm band. Turbo technology has gotten much better, so the "turbo lag" is greatly reduced. Put that same turbo on a gasoline engine and I bet the lag will be much more evident. Now technology is going toward dual turbo, one designed to spool up very quickly (give nearly immediate power gains) and the other to kick in at higher rpms, not just two of the same kind of turbo.
Popular Mechanics had a rather lengthy article in response to the Ethanol Myth. They outlined several of the factors that made ethanol an unrealiatic fuel. In order to boil down the corn mash for distillation it requires heat that cannot be produced by burning ethanol. They need a more constant, reliable heat source so they either use fuel oil or natural gas. Because water exchanges heat so slowly it takes the equivalent of 3 gallons of fossil fuel to produce 1 gallon of ethanol. They also took into consideration the cost of fuels needed to plant, grow, harvest and transport the corn for distillation. Ethanol is an unstable oxydizing agent that looses it's volatility after about 3 months in storage, so they can't produce in advance of the need. And since it has a tendency to draw moisture when exposed to the atmosphere, it means that every time it is transported it gets less and less useful as a fuel.
The next problem that using corn for fuel is that it takes foodstuff out of the food chain, so the cost of chicken and beef gets more expensive as they availability of the commodity gets rarer for use as food for livestock. It also reduces the crop available for human consumption corn flakes are going to get more expensive. And if every vehicle on the road were required to use ethanol, it would deplete the worlds food crop in one season.

If battery technology gets better, then electric would be a viable answer, but the technology just isn't there yet.
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  #28  
Old 07-13-2009, 03:40 PM
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Because payouts can also be very high? Because any job that has a higher risk of causing physical harm commands high premiums? Because whether or not a doctor messed up court costs are expensive to fight? Because doctors do screw up now and then despite the old view of doctors being gods? Because lots of doctors make alot of money and drive around in Porches?
What does the last sentence have to do with malpractice insurance premiums? The rest is stating the obvious, except the "doctors being gods" part. I don't know anyone that feels that way.

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Originally Posted by Samuel View Post
There is no one reason and all the various 'fixes' to this issue always focus on one thing and conveniently forget the others. "Tort reform" generally just limits lawsuits, nothing more. So the idea: if there are no lawsuits then there is no need for insurance. That does not deal with the reason the lawsuits are there in the first place... except that they think many people who file dont have a case. Sorry but thats for a court to decide, not politicians.

Maybe insurance and such are fine the way they are. After all, by its very nature doctors have peoples lives in the balance. Its not auto insurance.
I understand there are number of reasons why malpractice insurance would be more expensive when compared to other forms of insurance, but when you look strictly at the numbers (which I have not seen) is malpractice insurance on par with other insurances?

Here's what I mean. I read a newspaper article awhile back that dealt with title insurance. In that article it was said that title insurance is one of the most profitable insurances. Why? Because when you compare premiums to payouts, it was a high premium with low payout. Many other insurances compare similarly when you look at those numbers. If there are very high payouts for malpractice insurance companies, than it would stand to reason the premiums for doctors would likewise be high. There is a ratio for these figures (I don't know the proper title to these statistics). Is Malpractice insurance a cash cow for the insurance company? Or is the whole idea that lowering the allowable award amount, in malpractice cases, would have a comparable lowering effect on malpractice premiums for doctors just a myth?
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  #29  
Old 07-13-2009, 03:41 PM
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I replied earlier without actually going to the site you provided a link to. I went to the site and read it. Right off the bat it uses an example that has nothing to do with the medical or health care side of things. I did not visit any of the sites it provided links to.
But med mal is just a particular form of negligence.

Also, why wouldn't you trust the government's statistics?

Quote:
I understand there are number of reasons why malpractice insurance would be more expensive when compared to other forms of insurance, but when you look strictly at the numbers (which I have not seen) is malpractice insurance on par with other insurances?
So why not limit insurance premiums? "Tort reform" isn't "insurance reform." I think the insurance industry is one of those most in favor of tort reform.

Basically the conservatives and corporatists who want tort reform want the insurance companies to pay out less without necessarily limiting the amount of profit that insurance companies make as a whole. I feel that if there are imbalances in the amount of rates per payout, then it is the insurance companies' heavy burden to show that the imbalance is justified and that there is no better and more just solution that to limit the amount of payout before shifting the economic risk to the insureds.

Furthermore, government does not exist to protect corporate interests over popular interests. The interest of the people is more in line with the insured rather than the insurer. Corporations have corporate lawyers and big money on their side. In the end, the government is of the people, by the people, and for the people -- not for those with high-powered lobbyists hired by others with deep pockets who could well afford to make less.

I feel that it is essentially undemocratic, unfair, unjust, and immoral for those with the most money to attempt to limit the amount of compensation that a jury of peers can give to those injured often by those very corporate interests -- hospitals and other large corporations -- seeking those limits.

If, of course, the hospitals are nonprofit -- genuinely so -- then that might be a slightly different matter. But hospitals are now often for-corporate centers, as are gigantic insurers that often use unscrupulous means to deny coverage to their insureds precisely when those insureds need it the most.

The ethics of insurance companies and financial companies often strike me as similar to those of one of the largest such corporations in the world -- the infamous AIG.

Defenders of those with big money will often say that tort reform benefits mom and pop operations. But it isn't moms or pops that own gigantic insurance companies or medical corporations. Nor do they own significant shares of such corporations -- if anything, pension funds and other corporations do. And it may or may not be true that the high returns given by arguably rapacious corporate interests allow pension funds to thrive -- at least in the past. But this wouldn't justify limiting compensation to those who deserve it. What it would justify is better financial rules that prevent so-called "hedge funds" and speculators from bidding up share prices and in turn requiring ever more obscene profits to be squeezed out as the bottom line.

To those who defend the corporate interests, I would cite the classic adage: "Let justice be done, though the heavens fall."

Last edited by Star Trek Viewer : 07-13-2009 at 04:02 PM.
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  #30  
Old 07-13-2009, 03:46 PM
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Popular Mechanics had a rather lengthy article in response to the Ethanol Myth. They outlined several of the factors that made ethanol an unrealiatic fuel. In order to boil down the corn mash for distillation it requires heat that cannot be produced by burning ethanol. They need a more constant, reliable heat source so they either use fuel oil or natural gas. Because water exchanges heat so slowly it takes the equivalent of 3 gallons of fossil fuel to produce 1 gallon of ethanol. They also took into consideration the cost of fuels needed to plant, grow, harvest and transport the corn for distillation. Ethanol is an unstable oxydizing agent that looses it's volatility after about 3 months in storage, so they can't produce in advance of the need. And since it has a tendency to draw moisture when exposed to the atmosphere, it means that every time it is transported it gets less and less useful as a fuel.
The next problem that using corn for fuel is that it takes foodstuff out of the food chain, so the cost of chicken and beef gets more expensive as they availability of the commodity gets rarer for use as food for livestock. It also reduces the crop available for human consumption corn flakes are going to get more expensive. And if every vehicle on the road were required to use ethanol, it would deplete the worlds food crop in one season.
WOW! Thank you for all the information. I had no idea ethenol was such a waste. I figured with a 1 to 1 ratio it would NOT be a logical alternative. Why effect food markets when you could just burn the 1 gallon of gas in a car and avoid all the trouble? With the ratio being higher, it is absurdly crazy to think corn ethenol is a viable alternative.

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If battery technology gets better, then electric would be a viable answer, but the technology just isn't there yet.
This is where you and I disagree. I believe lithium ion batteries are a viable power source for cars. They are smaller, lighter, and hold more charge than previous battery technology. The problem is they are expensive.
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