Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Prager Thoughts

Here are some recent thoughts from Dennis Prager.

His ability to articulate so much in just a few paragraphs is a gift.

A Society that Venerates Lawyers More than DoctorsDennis PragerTuesday, November 03, 2009

Those of us who are not true believers in expanded government are certain of the following: If the 1,990-page House Health Care Bill becomes law, the average American will receive worse health care, American physicians will decline in status and income, American medical innovation will dramatically slow down and pharmaceutical discoveries will decline in number and quality. And, of course, the economy of the United States will deteriorate, perhaps permanently.

However, we are also certain that there is one American group that will thrive -- trial lawyers. The very existence of a 1,990-page law guarantees years of, if not more or less permanent, lawsuits. And the law actually specifies that states that do not limit attorneys' fees in cases of medical malpractice shall be financially rewarded. What we are seeing here, therefore, is something unprecedented in our history: Many trial lawyers will earn as much as most physicians, and fewer and fewer physicians will earn as much as successful trial lawyers.

Nothing better illustrates the reorientation -- indeed, the transformation -- of values that will take place if the Democrats' health care legislation is passed. Thanks to trial lawyer/Democratic influence, for decades, we have been moving in the direction of litigation-based society. But with a Democratic health care bill, the movement will accelerate exponentially.

Much of our money, our innovation, our creativity and our ingenuity will gravitate from medicine to law.

Young people who wish to make a good living -- and even talk themselves into believing that they are also doing good for society -- will opt for trial law over medicine. As far back as memory goes for living Americans, a young person who wished to do well, as well as do good in life, would likely choose medicine as a profession if he were bright enough and willing to put in the great number of hours necessary.

In the last generation, many of the brightest chose finance -- as it turned out, another often unproductive and often destructive arena -- to make a lot of money while believing that they, too, were doing a lot of good for society.

With the financial professions in trouble and in some disrepute, and medicine being financially and socially devalued -- doctors are increasingly called "health care providers" (along with nurses, physician's assistants, lab technicians, etc.; they're all the same) -- law, especially trial law, will be seen as offering the most opportunities for making a great deal of money.

No rational person argues that society doesn't need law or lawyers, or that all lawyers, even trial lawyers, do no good. That is certainly not what is being argued here.

But it does say something about a society when those who sue physicians and hospitals make as much or more money than those who heal disease. It says something about a society when it glorifies and rewards those who litigate while it demonizes and punishes those who produce the drugs and devices that keep its citizens alive and well.

This is part of the upside-down world the left is bequeathing to us and our children in the name of health care "reform."


  1. As I was reading this post, I could not help but think of the 2004 Democrat candidate for VP, the infamous John Edwards. He made his fortunated as a trial lawyer. Recent revelations in the news has shown what a decadent person he is. The vast majority of elected Democrat legislators in Congress are lawyers. So, it is not surprising that there is not "Tort Reform" in the Healthcare bill known as Obamacare.
    Unless there is "Tort Reform" any attempt at health care reform will fail - just as Mr. Prager warns.

    I have a college friend who for years tried to get into medical school. He was finally successful and completed the prescribed course of study to become an MD. He practiced for three years and then quit because his malpractice insurance premiums were so high. He decided that practicing medicine was not healing but was funding trial lawyers.

  2. Slim, to bad your friend did not get better advise before wasting so much time and money. Adding up column A and column B, it makes no sense to go into medicine today. 12+ years after high school and potentially $200,000+ debt from student loans, and then an uncertain future in your chosen profession. Overhead costs rising each year, more regulation, and ever decreasing ability to increase the practice income. Defered saving for retirement means less compounding of money therefore less likely adequate retirement funds, just another factor.

  3. You cite Sen. Edwards for your point. I wont dispute that he is clearly a flawed individual.

    However, I'll take Abe Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and Franklin D. Roosevelt to rebut you. Three of the greatest leaders our nation has known, and all 3 were lawyers.

    My point is that I dont know that stereotyping or painting with such a broad brush is always accurate. Lawyers have done quite a bit of good for our nation, as well.

    By the way, I'm sorry your friend was such a lousy doctor that he kept malpracticing to the point where he couldn't afford coverage any longer. Sounds like there was a valid reason that he was having trouble getting into medical school for so many years.

    There is a reason that car insurance is so expensive for lousy drivers. The same applies to malpractice coverage as well.

  4. The difference between doctors and lawyers is that there are no jobs for bad doctors.

  5. Lawguy, one reason his friend may have had difficulty getting into medical school might have been he is male.
    Income in a medical practice is not like law where you can effectively charge what you want. You can try but the government sets limits on what you may charge for about half your work. In the mean time costs, like malpractice ins. go up, regardless of your record.
    You do not have a clue or do not give a damn!

  6. Having represented physicians and insurance companies for a decade before switching sides, I'm pretty sure I have a pretty good clue what I'm talking about.

    And I do give a damn. Its why I do what I do for a living.

  7. Lawguy, there is a reason health insurance is more expensive for people in bad health, just like auto ins. for bad drivers and malpractice ins. for bad doctors. See, you cant have it both ways.
    Thanks for making the point.

  8. Anon 911 - that made no sense. lawguy skooled you.

  9. My friend, whom I spoke to yesterday, was a Vietnam Vet. That is why he had difficulty getting into medical school - political correctness in the '70s. After he quit his medical practice, he and several partners established a chain of neck and back pain clinics concentrating on the physical therapy side of medicine. He recently sold his clinics to an HMO. He was quite successful in spite of the pitfalls of practicing medicine.

  10. Really, I was schooled? It would seem lawguy is the one who needs schooling on what insurance is, and some others.
    Lawguy has advocated for the gov. changing the rules of medical ins. and evil profit, with ins. for all, no precondition descrimination. Yet he states that bad drivers( greater risk) pay more for auto ins. Same for bad doctors. It logically flows that people with known health risk will pay more if they will be offered medical ins.
    Insurance mitigates the consequences of unexpected misfortune. The price depends on the probability of the event occuring.

  11. keep talking. keep showing ignorance.

  12. those who can - do. those who can't - run for congress. right todd?