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Does it make me a bad person…

September 25, 2007

…If I occasionally agree with something Ann Coulter says? While her writing style is always entertaining, I usually find her to be more than slightly off the mark on, well, everything. However, her most recent piece is a response to some Democrats complaining about the wages doctors earn, and I agree with the main point of her article:

You can make 30 times as much money as doctors by becoming a trial lawyer suing doctors. You need no skills, no superior board scores, no decade of training and no sleepless residency.

Later, she writes about a college friend who became a doctor:

She makes $380 for an emergency appendectomy, or one-ten-thousandth of what John Edwards made suing doctors like her, and one-fourth of what John Edwards’ hairdresser makes for a single shag cut.

Edwards made $30 million bringing nonsense lawsuits based on junk science against doctors. To defend themselves from parasites like Edwards, doctors now pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical malpractice insurance every year.

Now I will disclose that I have two doctors in my immediate family, so I am not 100% unbiased on this topic. However, I have also seen multiple good doctors being forced into early retirement or forced to move to a different state because their malpractice has increased to the point where they can no longer afford to work. In a big city, one individual moving is not the end of the world, but in a relatively small town, losing one surgeon or specialist can be a major problem.

Sometimes doctors are sued because of a doctor error. They should be held accountable for that. But frivolous lawsuits raise malpractice rates too, and they can take up weeks of a doctor’s time. These lawsuits cost comparatively little for the patient and malpractice lawyer to push forward.

Something is wrong with this picture, and it needs to be fixed.

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