“Gang of Six” Budget Proposals Attack Victims Rights

The so-called “Gang of Six” are currently getting much press coverage for their wide-ranging and broadly-defined proposals that are suggested by some to be the panacea for all of our nation’s deficit and debt problems. While our nation’s Democratic Party leaders and Republican Party leaders spar over each other’s political views and party philosophies, the Gang of Six calls itself bipartisan (caution: any person or group that claims to be “bipartisan” is attempting to be viewed as having middle-of-the road political views and being noncontroversial). The “Gang” has issued what it calls its “comprehensive” and “balanced plan” to solve our fiscal problems. As with most grandiose politically-based plans to resolve our current, ongoing, and increasingly massive national debt crisis, the Gang’s plan contains many not-so-specific proposals based on reducing the national debt by obtaining “savings” in existing federal programs and expenditures. (How are the Gang’s proposals newsworthy? Haven’t we been promised often and repeatedly over many years and during many administrations (both Democratic and Republican) that federal program “savings” to be realized in the future will get us out of our current fiscal problems today? Have predicted future savings ever been achieved to the extent that they were promised?)

The Gang’s plan includes under the heading “Enacting a comprehensive deficit reduction plan that includes discretionary and entitlement savings as well as fundamental tax reform” the mandate that “Require committees to report legislation within six months that would deliver real deficit savings in entitlement programs over 10 years” that includes such ridiculously general, pie-in-the-sky goals such as “Armed Services would find $80 billion,” “Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions would find $70 billion,” “Homeland Security and Government Affairs would find $65 billion,” “Agriculture would find $11 billion while protecting the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program,” “Commerce would find $11 billion,” and “Energy would find $6 billion and may propose additional policies to generate savings that would be applied to the infrastructure deficit or to reduce the deficit.” (Source)

Like most posturing and pronouncements from the two major political parties in the United States, the Gang’s proposals contain no specifics or guidance whatsoever where to “find” the money (that is, which federal programs will be cut,  and to what extent, that will result in “finding” the billions of dollars that the Gang’s plan requires).

“Find An Unspecified Amount Through Medical Malpractice Reform”

The last sentence in the Gang’s “Enacting a comprehensive deficit reduction plan that includes discretionary and entitlement savings as well as fundamental tax reform” section should be particularly troublesome to all victims of medical malpractice errors: “Judiciary [Committee] would find an unspecified amount through medical malpractice reform.”

How would “medical malpractice reform” have any effect on our nation’s budget deficit or national debt? What “reforms” are contemplated on the federal level and how will they affect the rights of medical malpractice victims? If there are “caps” (limits) placed on the amount of medical malpractice recoveries, how will that affect Medicare, which would then receive less in medical payment reimbursements and thereby raise its net payouts as a result of limitations placed on economic damages?

What does the phrase “find an unspecified amount through medical malpractice reform” mean? Is the federal government going to infringe on the states’ historical rights by making “medical malpractice reform” decisions on the federal level, thereby forcing each and every state to follow what the  federal government dictates as to how their citizens are treated and compensated when they are injured through no fault of their own by careless medical providers?

Manufactured crises, such as the current virulent political speeches regarding the deficit and debt situations, allow special interest groups, such as doctors and other medical professionals, to promote their self-interests and to tack on unrelated and unnecessary provisions to federal legislation that would otherwise be dismissed by rational lawmakers during calmer and less frenzied times. Just like your parents warned you when you were making important decisions while growing up , “Don’t rush because you’ll make a mistake,” our elected officials must be encouraged to do the same. (Your parents also taught you that “gangs” are dangerous and to avoid them — Congress and our President must do the same when it comes to federal medical malpractice reform proposals.)

It is up to us to make sure that our elected officials don’t make the critical mistake of allowing medical malpractice reform to get a foothold on the federal level in their rush to address the budget crisis. Contact your congressional representatives to advise them not to sacrifice your future for some temporary and illusory financial benefit.

When the medical malpractice negligence of a medical provider results in medical errors causing serious injuries or death, you need to protect your rights by finding a medical malpractice attorney to assist you with your medical malpractice claim. Visit our website to be connected with medical malpractice lawyers in your local area who may be able to answer your medical malpractice questions or call us toll free number at 800-295-3959.

Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.

This entry was posted on Monday, July 25th, 2011 at 10:30 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


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