Remember when we socialized risk by bailing out Wall Street, all the while privatizing profits. Nice plan…for business.
So is it any surprise to see ousted corporate CEO Rick Scott, who was just elected governor of Florida, propose that same formula for malpractice reform?
Miamiharold: As governor-elect Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature consider giving doctors immunity against lawsuits in return for treating Medicaid patients, a new report warns that such an arrangement could cost taxpayers at least $69 million a year. Alan Levine, who headed Scott's transition team overseeing Medicaid policy, is urging Scott to shield doctors from liability by capping the damages against them, not by giving them sovereign immunity that would cost tax dollars.
State Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, who lost to Scott in November, commissioned the actuarial report … The report concludes that if legislators give state immunity to doctors and hospitals, ``the state basically takes the place of a doctor who commits a negligent act.'' When a patient sues, taxpayers would pick up the tab of any medical malpractice claim up to $300,000. The cost of defending and investigating an estimated 551 claims a year would cost Florida $69 million a year, the report claims.
The report concludes that if legislators give state immunity to doctors and hospitals, ``the state basically takes the place of a doctor who commits a negligent act.'' When a patient sues, taxpayers would pick up the tab of any medical malpractice claim up to $300,000. The cost of defending and investigating an estimated 551 claims a year would cost Florida $69 million a year, the report claims.
Sink questions the assumption that doctors will be more willing to accept patients if they are shielded from malpractice claims. ``No research has been done that supports that rationale,'' the report states, and notes that Florida would be the first state in the country to offer that protection.
You'll like this: Time/CNN: Scott, after all, had to resign in disgrace in 1997 as CEO of the Columbia/HCA hospital corporation, the world's biggest private health care facility operator (today called just HCA), after it was slapped with $1.7 billion in federal fines for Medicare fraud, the largest such case in U.S. history. Scott himself was never charged with a crime — but the scandal is a big reason people get a tad nervous now whenever the Governor-elect, who refused to talk with any Florida newspaper editorial board during his campaign, ducks out of sight to huddle with executives.
I love this fact that seems to dispute the Supreme Court logic that money will corrupt elections;
Scott supporters insist that was the mandate of the voters … But even after spending an eye-popping $73 million of his own money on his campaign — a layout that prompted even some Republican leaders to complain that he was buying the statehouse — Scott scored less than 50% of the vote and defeated a fairly weak Democratic candidate, Florida CFO Alex Sink, by just a percentage point.
Here an interesting caveat about Scott’s former gubernatorial opponent:
Orlando Sentinel: Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink finally won something this fall — but it’s not recognition she’ll be bragging about. MSNBC co-hosts Chuck Todd and Savannah Guthrie gave her their “Worst Candidate of 2010″ award this morning.
“You lost to a guy who defrauded Medicare,” Todd said, pausing for emphasis. “In Florida! Okay? More people on Medicare in Florida than maybe any other state.”