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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

New York Democrat Faces Raucous Town Hall as He Tries to Make Case Against "Tort Reform" - Video 10/6/09

Here is video of a raucous Town Hall Meeting at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood, New York, where Democrat Congressman Steve Israel faced a skeptical crowd as he tried to make the case for the Democrats' Health Care Plan.

Israel was asked a simple question: "Why can't we just fix the part of health care that is broken, when what is needed is tort reform?"

The crowd went wild at the question! Rep. Israel then condescendingly tried to lecture the crowd about why tort reform is not a good thing! The crowd remained raucous throughout his attempted answer.

Israel (D-Huntington) at one point pleaded with those in the crowd yelling at him to "stop calling me a liar and listen." Judging by the ever-increasing decibel level, he did not win over many converts.

Shouts of -- "Stop printing money," "We don't care what you think," and "You're a moron" -- permeated the 90-minute session, which drew far more than the 450 people who filled Van Nostrand Theatre. Scores more were not allowed inside after a Suffolk fire marshal closed the doors.

People opposing the proposed health care reform outnumbered those in favor, though both sides strove to outshout each other during the question-and-answer period.

A typical scene came after Anneliese Lanza of Huntington asked, "Why can't we just fix the part of health care that is broken when what is needed is tort reform?" The anti-reform portion of the crowd broke into a raucous standing ovation chanting "tort reform."

"You're saying tort reform now, but if something happens to you, you'll be the first one to want to take the case to a judge and jury," Israel said. "I don't believe a member of the United States Congress should decide when you can go to court."

Israel, who supports the public option, which would allow people to purchase insurance through a government program, said he does not expect to support every aspect of the final reform bill.

"I'm not going to draw any lines in the sand," he said. "I'm not going to vote against 60 percent of what I want because I can't get 40 percent of what I want. There is no perfection." . . . MORE


Michael Kirsch, M.D. October 8, 2009 at 8:00 AM  

Steve Israel needs reeducation. The only group that reliably defends the status quo is the one who is enreiched by it. How can you defend a system that performs as poorly as Congress does? The tort system abuses the medical profession ensnaring innocent doctors for months or years before they are released. It also indirectly tortures patients. Doctors order billions of dollars worth of defensive medicine, tests that are not medically necessary. These tests cause real medical complication and anxiety for patients and their familiers. Do these folks have rights too? Don't highlight a tragic anecdote without considering the effects of our perverse system overall. See www.MDWhistleblower.blogspot.com under Legal Quality category.

Hamster October 10, 2009 at 2:24 AM  

Many of us have always believed that greed is one of the factors that make our healthcare system the most expensive in the world.. Government has a place in keeping businesses…lawyers, drug companies, doctors, insurance companies…from making excessive profits off of people who can least afford it.

Even Republicans are starting to get behind the concept that government intervention on behalf of consumers is not only necessary…it is also good.

If we can put arbitrary caps on jury awards, we can put those same caps on the profits that drug companies, hospitals, doctors and insurance companies make.

Tort reform in itself will only save our 2 trillion dollar a year healthcare system about 0.5%

In itself...not a significant amount. But if you take the concept further and start putting caps not only on lawyers, but doctors, hospitals , insurance companies and drug companies...now you are talking real savings.

Government limits to jury awards. Yes.
Government limits to doctors fees. Yes
Government limits to drug companies profits. Yes
Government limits to insurance companies profits. Yes

Now we are all talking the same language

Michael Kirsch, M.D. October 10, 2009 at 9:58 AM  

To Hamster, Why not simply cap everyone's salary and every business's profits? Then we would be 'Back in the USSR'. www.MDWhistleblower.blogspot.com

David Daniels October 16, 2009 at 12:06 PM  

He did say he would vote for tort reform in the context of a bill although he doesn't agree with tort reform and the doctor on the panel agrees that they practice defensive medicine and tort reforms are needed.

This was by far the rowdiest part of the night and I did post th whole town hall to show that there were a number of people who came just to start trouble, not to engage in a debate.

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