Did you notice the big headline splashed across today's Nashville City Paper? "Physician liability in Tennessee ‘in crisis’: AMA," as if common patients who seek legal redress are the cause of an impending medical crisis. It's a one-sided piece about two Republican legislators who are seeking to cap awards on malpractice suits. I've already pointed out that, according to some, capping those awards has more to do with business and less to do with medicine. The AMA is a guild-advocacy group designed for MDs to organize to have influence over the political process. I don't begrudge MDs the right to organize. But for the City Paper to treat this as anything more than what it is ain't fair to readers. MDs save a lot of lives and heal people; but there are probably as many good people and as many charlatans within the medical field as there are in the general population, and the collective voice of MDs should not be given any more weight on the matter of public policy than that of patients.
What really sticks in my craw about reporter Judith Tackett's skewed story is that it is blind to insurance industry machinations behind the scenes of medicine and within the workings of the General Assembly. Why do reporters keep giving the insurance industry a free pass on these issues, as if it is the very inalterable water in which medicine swims? Ms. Tackett made scant mention of "tort reform" opponents as if their only concerns were about poor people and not about how the insurance industry may in fact be rigging the game. Some of us smell the stink while Ms. Tackett seems to be merely holding her nose and refusing to do any kind of research into the medical insurance industry in Tennessee.
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