Friday, June 24, 2011

6/24/11 - Fair Share Act Passes PA Senate - Now Back to the House

6/24/11 - Liability and Health Reform Update
Fair Share Act Passes PA Senate
Now back to the House


((Editor's comments in blue italics. Please scroll to the end for more information, disclaimer, etc.))

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Editor's Comments:

MANY THANKS to everyone who called, wrote and emailed members of the PA Senate to support the Fair Share Act! Your advocacy made all the difference in the world!

Please watch for more comments further down in this newsletter....

And thanks again for all your help!

DBR


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Bill to limit lawsuit liability passes state Senate
GOP leaders expect it to move quickly through House to Corbett.
http://www.mcall.com/news/local/pa-xgr--lawsuit-liability-20110621,0,7756316.story
by Mark Llevy

HARRISBURG — A top priority of Gov.
Tom Corbett moved an important step closer to becoming law Tuesday as the state Senate passed a bill limiting the liability of defendants in some civil court cases for negligence after passionate debate that pitted the interests of business owners, hospitals and insurers against lawyers who represent victims.
Senators in the Republican-controlled chamber voted 32-18 to send the bill to the House, which handily passed a nearly identical bill in April and where leaders of the
GOP majority expect to move it quickly to Corbett's desk. All but one Republican voted for it, and all but three Democrats opposed it.
The vote came after 90 minutes of floor debate Monday and Tuesday over what impact the bill would have on the state's economy and what would happen to people who are wronged and seek justice through the courts.
Current law holds all guilty defendants potentially liable for 100 percent of damages if their co-defendants cannot pay for the negligence resulting in death or injury to a person or property.
But supporters of the bill say the law hurts
Pennsylvania's business climate because it allows a victim's lawyers to drag a deep-pocketed company with little connection to the negligent act into the case because of its ability to pay. Opponents of the bill, however, say changing the law will hurt victims of negligent acts and their families who seek justice in the courts after they are maimed and unable to work, or killed.
"This is a bill that's been identified by every business organization that I'm aware of in the state as a No. 1 priority to help them create jobs in this commonwealth," said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman
Jake Corman, R-Centre. "This is a bill that the health care organizations have been strongly supportive of to help them keep their viability in their communities."
Democrats accused Republicans of driving a larger agenda to take away rights.
"It hurts people," said Sen. Larry Farnese, D-
Philadelphia. "It doesn't create an economic boom. It doesn't create jobs. It puts people in a position where they can be hurt, where their quality of life can be destroyed and where government does nothing to make their lives better."
On Monday, senators voted 28-22 to approve a Corman-sponsored amendment to an underlying bill written by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Stewart Greenleaf, R-Montgomery, who, like trial lawyers and labor unions, opposed the bill that came over from the House.
Under the bill, defendants found to be less than 60 percent at fault wouldn't have to pay more than their share of the damages, except for awards in circumstances including intentional misrepresentation, an intentional act, an environmental crime or a liquor law violation.
Corman's amendment eliminated two additional exceptions for cases where children are involved and where the victim lost wages because of injury or death.
Hospitals, insurers and business groups lobbied against Greenleaf's bill and said it carried too many exceptions to fix the inherent unfairness in the law.
"If you think the civil justice system is a welfare program where everybody gets everything they're asking for, then vote against this bill," said Sen.
Jeffrey Piccola, R-Dauphin. "But that's not what civil justice is all about. Civil justice is about fairness, this bill is about fairness."
Senate Minority Leader
Jay Costa, D-Allegheny, then called out Piccola for apparently flipping his arm during Costa's response — "we're not going to flip our arm to the people of Pennsylvania who are going to be harmed by this legislation," Costa said — and Greenleaf warned that Medicaid claims will rise, but insurers won't lower premiums if the bill becomes law.
"This will be a welfare state if you pass this legislation," Greenleaf said.
A similar bill has passed a GOP-controlled Legislature twice before in Pennsylvania. After it became law in 2002, House Democratic leaders sued and state appellate courts overturned it on grounds that the bill it was written into violated the Pennsylvania Constitution's requirement that bills confine themselves to a single subject.
The Legislature later passed a replacement bill, but it was vetoed in 2006 by then-Gov.
Ed Rendell, a Democrat.


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Details for RCS# 182
Monday Jun. 20, 2011
Senate Bill 1131 PN 1322
A3169 CORMAN AMENDMENT NO. A-3169
http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/RC/Public/rc_view_action2.cfm?sess_yr=2011&sess_ind=0&rc_body=S&rc_nbr=182

Summary
YEAS
28
NAYS
22
LVE
0
N/V
0
TOTAL
50

Y ALLOWAY
Y ARGALL
Y BAKER
N BLAKE
N BOSCOLA
N BREWSTER
Y BROWNE
Y BRUBAKER
Y CORMAN
N COSTA
Y DINNIMAN
Y EARLL
Y EICHELBERGER
Y ERICKSON
N FARNESE
N FERLO
Y FOLMER
N FONTANA
Y GORDNER
N GREENLEAF
N HUGHES
N KASUNIC
N KITCHEN
N LEACH
Y MCILHINNEY
Y MENSCH
N ORIE
Y PICCOLA
Y PILEGGI
Y PIPPY
Y RAFFERTY
Y ROBBINS
Y SCARNATI
N SCHWANK
Y SMUCKER
N SOLOBAY
N STACK
N TARTAGLIONE
Y TOMLINSON
Y VANCE
Y VOGEL
Y WARD
N WASHINGTON
Y WAUGH
Y WHITE DONALD
Y WHITE MARY JO
N WILLIAMS
N WOZNIAK
N YAW
N YUDICHAK


Details for RCS# 190
Tuesday Jun. 21, 2011
Senate Bill 1131 PN 1389
FINAL PASSAGE
http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/RC/Public/rc_view_action2.cfm?sess_yr=2011&sess_ind=0&rc_body=S&rc_nbr=190
Summary
YEAS
32
NAYS
18
LVE
0
N/V
0


TOTAL 50


Y ALLOWAY
Y ARGALL
Y BAKER
N BLAKE
Y BOSCOLA
N BREWSTER
Y BROWNE
Y BRUBAKER
Y CORMAN
N COSTA
Y DINNIMAN
Y EARLL
Y EICHELBERGER
Y ERICKSON
N FARNESE
N FERLO
Y FOLMER
N FONTANA
Y GORDNER
N GREENLEAF
N HUGHES
N KASUNIC
N KITCHEN
N LEACH
Y MCILHINNEY
Y MENSCH
Y ORIE
Y PICCOLA
Y PILEGGI
Y PIPPY
Y RAFFERTY
Y ROBBINS
Y SCARNATI
Y SCHWANK
Y SMUCKER
N SOLOBAY
N STACK
N TARTAGLIONE
Y TOMLINSON
Y VANCE
Y VOGEL
Y WARD
N WASHINGTON
Y WAUGH
Y WHITE DONALD
Y WHITE MARY JO
N WILLIAMS
N WOZNIAK
Y YAW
N YUDICHAK

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From the PA Medical Society Website:

Bill to Modify Pennsylvania’s Joint and Several Liability Law Now in the House
http://www.pamedsoc.org/HomePageNews/Joint-and-Several.html

A much needed liability reform bill is another step closer to becoming law. After passing the Senate by a vote of 32-18, Senate Bill 1131, which would modify Pennsylvania’s joint and several liability law, was approved by the House Judiciary Committee and now goes to the House floor for its consideration. As amended by Sen. Jake Corman (Centre, Juniata, Mifflin, Perry, and Union) and passed by the Senate, SB 1131 is now identical to House Bill 1 and Senate Bill 2, which will no longer be considered. Pennsylvania is one of only a handful of states that has complete joint and several liability. Under the current law, if one defendant is without assets or has insufficient funds to pay their share, the other defendant(s) can be held responsible for 100 percent of the jury’s award. If this legislation is passed, each responsible defendant would only have to pay their share as long as the jury finds them less than 60 percent at fault. If a defendant is found more than 60 percent at fault, they can be made to pay 100 percent of the damages, if the other defendant(s) are without sufficient funds. Some exceptions for full joint and several liability would still exist, including intentional misrepresentation, hazardous tort(s), hazardous substances released or threatened to be released, and liquor code violations. This is not the first time around for this legislation. In 2002, a very similar bill was signed into law, but was thrown out by the state Supreme Court on a procedural technicality. In 2006, Gov. Ed Rendell vetoed yet another bill after previously indicating he would sign it if it passed.PAMED has been a long-time advocate for medical liability reforms, and has been successful in getting a number of reforms passed in Pennsylvania, including Act 13 of 2002. Currently, PAMED also supports a bill to allow physician apologies (HB 495) and a bill to strengthen the certificate of merit requirements.


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The Legal Intelligencer
With Senate Votes, Joint and Several Liability on Track to Be Transformed
http://www.law.com/jsp/pa/PubArticlePA.jsp?id=1202498110403&src=EMC-Email&et=editorial&bu=The%20Legal%20Intelligencer&pt=TLI%20AM%20Legal%20Alert&cn=TLI_am20110622&kw=With%20Senate%20Votes%2C%20Joint%20and%20Several
Amaris Elliott-Engel
June 22, 2011


As state Sen. Jake Corman fought back a proposal to temper changes to Pennsylvania's joint and several liability doctrine, he said the original proposal to limit the circumstances under which a defendant has to pay for another defendant's part of a judgment was the result of a compromise struck back in 2002.
The state Senate voted Monday 28-22 and Tuesday 32-18 to amend Senate Bill 1131 to strip it of exceptions that would have maintained the application of joint and several liability to economic damages and cases involving the interests of minors.
With the amendment, Senate Bill 1131's language mirrors the language of a bill passed by the House of Representatives, backed by Gov. Tom Corbett, but bottled up in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The proposal would require defendants that are apportioned responsibility for causing a plaintiff's injuries at 60 percent or less to only pay the portion for which they were found liable.
The 60 percent proposal is the same as one that became law in 2002 before being struck down by the state Supreme Court on procedural grounds and was passed by the General Assembly in 2006, only to be vetoed by then-Gov. Edward G. Rendell, a Democrat.
Corman, a Centre County Republican, said that the exemptions backed by state Sen. Stewart Greenleaf, R-Montgomery, the majority chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, were well meaning but would dramatically reduce the impact of what Republicans in Harrisburg are trying to accomplish with changing the state's tort law.
"We don't compensate one by taking from another who was not found by a jury to have that level of responsibility," Corman said. He also pointed out that about 40 states have changed the doctrine of joint and several liability in some form.
Pennsylvania's doctrine of joint and several liability is likely to be revised because the House of Representatives already has passed parallel legislation to modify the doctrine and Corbett said in his budget address that he would sign legislation abrogating the doctrine of joint and several liability, arguing legal liability scares jobs away and leaves minor players stuck paying the full price of lawsuits.
While the language is the same in the amended SB 1131 and House Bill 1, the same bill has to pass both chambers of the General Assembly. In April, the state House of Representatives approved HB 1, known as the "Fair Share Act," on a 112-88 vote.
Erik Arneson, communications and policy director for Sen. Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Delaware, said in an e-mail the most likely option would be for the House to take up SB 1131 after it reached final passage in the Senate.
Defense attorney Craig Murphey, president of the Pennsylvania Defense Institute and a partner with MacDonald Illig in Erie, said unlike other states, this proposal would not completely eliminate the concept of joint and several liability.
"We believe that this will create a more even playing field for plaintiffs and defendants," Murphey said. "We think the 60 percent threshold is a reasonable compromise and it eliminates the real harm" to defendants compelled to pay more than their proportion of a judgment because a co-defendant could not afford to pay the award.
Fewer defendants could be brought into lawsuits under the proposed regime because there will be less likelihood of having to pay the entire judgment, so there may be less motivation "to bring in a co-defendant who may only have a tangential involvement in an incident," Murphey said.
Plaintiffs attorney Mark W. Tanner, co-managing partner of Feldman Shepherd Wohlgelernter Tanner Weinstock & Dodig in Philadelphia, said in an e-mail that legislators "elected to shift the burden of providing fair compensation to victims away from wrongdoers, and have placed it squarely on the shoulders of the taxpayers. At the end of the day, that is who will bear ultimate responsibility for the socioeconomic survival of victims and their families who may now be unable, by virtue of this legislation, to collect the fair compensation from the parties responsible for causing them harm."
Tanner predicted that the bill may cause defendants to bring in more co-defendants because primary tortfeasors will face less exposure if there are more co-defendants.
Greenleaf said on the floor of the Senate Monday that he agreed it was important to revise joint and several liability, but he said the 60 percent threshold was abandoning a state policy that favors injured victims.
Now all of a sudden, "instead of protecting victims we're protecting defendants," Greenleaf said.
Greenleaf bottled up HB 1's companion, SB 2, in committee and crafted alternatives to the proposal because he argued joint and several liability still provides important protection in the tort system to injured victims.
The proposal already preserves joint and several liability in cases of intentional misrepresentation, an intentional tort, release of a hazardous substance or a dram shop action.
State Sen. Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery, asked why an innocent victim should bear the risk in an imperfect world when a defendant who has done wrong can't pay damages.
State Sen. Jay Costa, D-Allegheny, and Greenleaf argued that states that have limited the doctrine of joint and several liability have worse unemployment rates than Pennsylvania, while Sen. Donald White, R-Indiana, said that Pennsylvania ranks at the bottom in the country's job growth. Reforming joint and several liability could increase the number of jobs in the state because businesses may feel more likely to engage in a job-creating enterprise, White said.
Corman said that representatives of Pennsylvania businesses and the health care industry said changing joint and several liability was their top legislative priority. •


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((Excellent piece, only four pages, good analysis of what works and what doesn't work....))

The State of Medical Liability Reform
July 2011 Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons
http://www.facs.org/fellows_info/bulletin/2011/pollack0711.pdf

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Mississippi Clarion Ledger
Torts: Remember bad, ol' days?
3:53 PM, Jun. 16, 2011
http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20110619/OPINION01/106190309/Torts-Remember-bad-ol-days-?odyssey=mod%7Cnewswell%7Ctext%7COpinion%7Cp

Mississippi's tort reform efforts were being widely criticized over the past week, as the state Supreme Court addresses the issue.
The court is trying to determine if the state's $1 million cap on non-economic damages is constitutional. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals made the request in the case of a Mississippi woman who sued Sears, Roebuck and Co. after she was involved in a collision with one of its vans in Neshoba County.
As per the state's cap, a federal judge reduced a federal jury's award from $4 million, of which $2.2 million was for non-economic damages. The appeals court asked the state court to review the case.
That has prompted renewed debate about the "fairness" of Mississippi tort reforms. Some folks must have short memories.
Some may not remember that less than a decade ago, the state faced a crisis in the availability and affordability of insurance. Doctors were retiring early, leaving the state and limiting high-risk services. Hospitals couldn't retain doctors or recruit new ones with rising insurance rates.
The Clarion-Ledger's 2002 series "Fighting Lawyers, Fleeing Doctors: Seeking A Cure" and "Hitting the Jackpot in Mississippi Courtrooms" elucidated the issues.
Under former Democratic Gov. Ronnie Musgrove, the 2002 Legislature capped non-economic "or pain and suffering" damages in medical malpractice lawsuits and other reforms. It was a historic moment for the state. But insurers and businesses complained that tort reform was only half done, both in civil justice (business) and medical malpractice reforms.
Some groups labeled Mississippi a "judicial hellhole" for frivolous lawsuits and multi-million dollar verdicts.
Republican Gov. Haley Barbour campaigned on the issue, saying he would finish the reform job.
So, in 2004, under Barbour, the Legislature passed a comprehensive package of business tort reforms and expanded on medical issues from 2002.
Since Mississippi adopted tort reforms, the state has lost its reputation as a place where "jackpot justice" ruled.
Other states have caps, too, so the state Supreme Court action is being closely watched.
The essential element should be remembered that it is not the amount of the cap that's key, but that a cap is set. Insurance companies must have a standard to determine risk, some basis for potential losses.
Caps on non-economic damages do just that.

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From the Institute for Legal Reform
The Lone Star Model:

Lawsuit Reform Has Helped Fuel Texas' Job Creation Machine

While the most of the nation continues to struggle to recover from the economic downturn, one state has led the way in creating jobs: Texas.In fact, according to Dallas Federal Reserve President Richard Fisher:

Since the recovery began, 38 percent of all the jobs created in America have been created in the State of Texas.And, according to Fisher, lawsuit reform has been an integral part of Texas' amazing jobs recovery.During the past decade, Texas Governor Rick Perry has signed into law three major pieces of lawsuit reform legislation -- the most recent coming this spring.These reforms are helping making the Lone Star State a less-threatening place to do business, and they are helping to fuel the state's job creation machine.Click below to watch the clip of Richard Fisher explaining the impact of lawsuit reform on CNBC's Squawk Box:

The Institute for Legal Reform is an advocacy group working to end lawsuit abuse. ILR is a national campaign of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, with the critical mission of making America's legal system simpler, faster, and fairer for everyone.


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June 20, 2011

Rep. Fleming Tells the Truth on Medicare
To view this youtube video please click the video below:

http://www.youtube.com/larep04#p/u/4/Nd7HJoweTic

For the latest videos from Washington, D.C.
Please Click Here
Sincerely, JOHN FLEMING, M.D.Member of Congress

Dr. John Fleming is Chairman of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs and is a member of the House Armed Services Committee. He is a physician and small business owner and represents the 4th Congressional District of Louisiana.

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((This is a marvelous montage of the members of the Doctors' Caucus talking about Medicare reform!))

The Medicare Truth - GOP Doctors Caucus
From:
larep04 Jun 17, 2011
http://www.youtube.com/larep04#p/u/5/BWQTPjYWQB0


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From the Editor:

Important qualifier here - while I disagree with the AMA's position on the PPACA and will work in any way possible to see the new health care law repealed, defunded, declared unconstitutional or any combination of the three, I find the vast majority of the work which has been done in the past - and continues to be done today - by the AMA and the AMA Alliance, to which I PROUDLY belong, to be of GREAT VALUE to America's health and welfare.

Another important qualifier - unless otherwise stated, NOTHING I SAY IN THIS NEWSLETTER IS THE OFFICIAL OR UNOFFICIAL POSITION OF THE AMA ALLIANCE, WHICH IS A NON-POLITICAL CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION which engages in legislative, but NEVER political advocacy. My opinions are MY opinions, and shouldn't reflect on the AMA Alliance or the PA Medical Society Alliance in any way.

As in the AMA, there are Alliance members on BOTH sides of the political divide over the PPACA. But that doesn't stop us from working together to help improve the health of America's communities through health awareness projects, medical and nursing school scholarships, support of medical families and health projects, and much, much more, and that important work needs to continue, regardless of whether we agree on a single policy point or not. There WAS no dissent at the AMA Alliance meeting in Chicago, at which I proudly represented the Pennsylvania Medical Society Alliance, for which I will become president in October. In fact, the amazing group of volunteers representing their state and county Alliances may be the most productive and forward-thinking group of people I've ever known, and we don't intend to let policy disagreements interrupt the important work we do to improve America's health.

I don't want anyone to assume that I want to see the AMA diminished by what I consider to be a poor policy choice about the PPACA. In fact, my advice to the physicians with whom I correspond regularly and in this newsletter has always been that if doctors don't LIKE AMA policy, they should get involved and CHANGE AMA policy. I still firmly believe that - the AMA is just like Congress in that respect - its members shape the policies it adopts.

I respect the efforts being made by those within the AMA to change policy, even if they weren't successful this time, as I respect and admire the efforts being made by those who've chosen another path and support OTHER organizations which represent physicians.

The bottom line for me has always been this - doctors need to be involved in policy, legislation, and politics, no matter HOW MUCH they might hate the necessity. If they're not, someone ELSE will decide how doctors should practice medicine, what kind of health care Americans will be able to access, and who will be responsible for making decisions about that care. Right NOW, a whole lot of people who didn't go to medical school are making decisions that ONLY DOCTORS should be making, and America's doctors are at least partially responsible for the position they find themselves in right now.

For far too long, America's doctors have been SO focused on providing quality health care to their patients that they've forgotten to take care of their own profession. They've been content to pay dues to some organization - or worse, pay dues to NO organizations - to represent their interests. But the only person who can be relied upon to look out for one's interests all the time is oneself - and the majority of doctors in America have defaulted the protection of their right to practice medicine in the way they were trained to other people for FAR TOO LONG.

It may already be too late to preserve medicine as an independent profession dedicated to quality care and the doctor-patient relationship. Already, there are bureaucrats writing thousands of pages of regulation that will put themselves in between doctors and patients. And if doctors don't speak up and get involved RIGHT NOW, it will be too late.

So here's your challenge - if you're mad at the AMA, JOIN IT and take it back. If you're not sure where your state medical society stands, FIND OUT. MANY of them openly oppose the PPACA and others don't support it even if they haven't taken a public position. Join your COUNTY medical society - there's nowhere you can impact policy more than at the local level.

Find out where your specialty society stands and JOIN IT at the state and national level. Explore the many other groups which are advocating for repeal of the PPACA, like the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons or AAPS, Docs4PatientCare, the Coalition to Protect Patients' Rights, the Benjamin Rush Society, Take Back the Profession, the Coalition of State Medical and National Specialty Societies, the Citizens Council for Health Freedom, the Lucidicus Project - you can google and find any of these, and there are more, probably lots more.

Join more than one. HELL, JOIN THEM ALL - and then DO SOMETHING instead of waiting for a lobbyist or a staff member to do it for you. Yeah, I know you don't have the time. You need to MAKE THE TIME. Unless you've GIVEN UP on being able to provide the best quality care for your patients - then, just sit back and let it all happen.

Legislators at all levels of government need to hear from America's doctors and medical families more now than ever before. Doctors and the people who support them must stand together to protect not only the profession, but America's quality of health care. Dissonance among health care professionals WEAKENS their ability to stand up to the challenges facing the profession.

Physicians and physicians' groups which oppose the PPACA and support repeal of the PPACA need to find ways to network and work together to achieve that goal. More doctors need to run for Congress in 2012 - or for their state legislatures. More doctors need to get onto legislators' advisory boards, or get involved in campaigns for people who support their goals.

I'll do whatever I can to make what YOU have to do easier - and so will all the groups I listed and others I probably don't even know about. But YOU must take the initiative to reach out and partner with other physicians who feel the way you do. Bitching in the doctors' lounge or on a blog or on Facebook may make you feel better for a little while, but it doesn't make a real difference. Only GETTING INVOLVED can make the difference that needs to be made.

And ONLY YOU can do that for yourself and your profession.

Need direction? Just ask - I'm here to help. And, as always, it is my honor to fight alongside of America's dedicated doctors....

DBR


From Modern Physician

READER POLL:
Is the AMA right on the individual mandate? http://www.modernphysician.com/article/20110624/MODERNPHYSICIAN/306249952/1207?trk=mp_newsletter

Do you agree with the AMA's decision to continue its support for the so-called individual mandate?

TAKE OUR POLL » — Modern Physician

((The NO votes were winning when I last checked....but not by much.))

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Chicago Examiner
Former AMA chief predicts demise of ObamaCare
http://www.examiner.com/conservative-in-chicago/former-ama-chief-predicts-demise-of-obamacareJune 23, 2011 10:35 am CT
Keith Liscio

In an exclusive interview, former
American Medical Association President Donald Palmisano predicted that whether by court action or the legislative process, President Obama’s signature healthcare reform law would be overturned. Dr. Palmisano spoke to your Chicago Conservative Examiner while he was in Chicago for the AMA’s annual conference this week and is the spokesman for the Coalition to Protect Patients’ Rights.
First and foremost, Palmisano (who is an attorney as well as a doctor) believes that the law will not survive scrutiny in the Supreme Court. He bases this opinion on an analysis of the expected swing vote on the Court,
Justice Anthony Kennedy.
According to Palmisano, Kennedy has generally been reluctant to extend the Commerce Clause of the Constitution unnecessarily. In this case, the Obama administration is hoping that the court will essentially give it permission to regulate a person’s right not to buy health insurance by imposing a fine. Palmisano believes that this will be viewed by the court as regulating “inactivity” and will not stand, saying, “If the government can regulate that, they can force you to do anything.”
Regardless of the eventual legal outcome of the measure, however, he believes that public dissatisfaction with the law may cause the election of enough Republicans in the Senate in 2012 to overturn it legislatively. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives has already voted to defund implementation of the law.
As to the AMA Convention, Palmisano was disappointed that the organization voted to reaffirm its position that individuals be responsible for purchasing health insurance. This position has been widely seen as tacit support for the individual mandate in the President’s healthcare law.
Perhaps more importantly, however, the organization voted to oppose the law’s Independent Payment Advisory Board and the AMA will now actively work to overturn it. IPAB is a new unelected and unaccountable 15- member group appointed by the President and empowered to make recommendations without Congressional approval to cut spending in Medicare if spending growth exceeds certain levels. Palmisano, CPPR and now the AMA believe that sweeping changes to the nation’s healthcare policy should have Congressional approval.
Although he is strenuously opposed to the law, Palmisano refuses to call it “ObamaCare,” considering that term “a pejorative.” At the same time, he feels like the official name of the act, the
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is something of a misnomer, claiming, “It doesn’t protect patients and isn’t making care more affordable.”
Asked if his position was influenced by partisan considerations, Palmisano said, “I’m a scientist. I believe in applying the scientific method and making decisions based on experimentation and proof. By that standard, [ObamaCare] is a disaster.”
The Coalition to Protect Patients’ Rights is made up of thousands of health care professionals who are dedicated to improving the quality and availability of healthcare for all Americans. The organization believes that President Obama’s healthcare reform has reduced the quality and accessibility of American health care.


Donald Palmisano, MD, JD, FACS, is a clinical professor of surgery and clinical professor of medical jurisprudence at
Tulane University School of Medicine and an adjunct professor at The Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in the department of Health Systems Management. He is the author of the book On Leadership – Essential Principles for Success.

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The Washington Times
PALMISANO: Nailing Obamacare’s rationing board
Republicans and Democrats join forces to stop a Medicare killer
By Dr. Donald J. Palmisano
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jun/20/nailing-obamacares-rationing-board/
6:50 p.m., Monday, June 20, 2011

With
Medicare’s trustees predicting the Medicare program will go bankrupt in 2024 - five years earlier than was projected before the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act - even Americans who strongly supported Obamacare have little choice but to acknowledge that Medicare must be reformed - and soon. While lawmakers continue to argue about the best way to protect this vital program for the seniors it serves and those who it has yet to serve, there is a growing bipartisan consensus that the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) is one provision of the new health law that will do more to undermine the program than save it.
Recently,
Rep. Allyson Schwartz, Pennsylvania Democrat, became the seventh Democrat to sign on as a co-sponsor to a Republican bill that calls for the repeal of the board. In announcing her decision, she referred to the IPAB as a “flawed policy that will risk beneficiary access to care.”
This new effort to repeal
IPAB is gaining momentum and could eventually bring together most House Republicans and many of the 72 House Democrats who fought to prevent the the board from being included in the new law in the first place. In addition, many of the groups that supported Obamacare like the American Medical Association, American Heart Association and AARP are now expressing opposition to IPAB and joining those that opposed it, including the organization for which I am a spokesperson, the Coalition to Protect Patients’ Rights.
Unfortunately, most people in the country, including seniors relying on
Medicare, have no idea what IPAB is or how it will affect their lives if it ever becomes operational. More concerning, President Obama decided to make the board the centerpiece of his efforts to reduce the deficit by calling for it to be strengthened - not eliminated. Starting in 2015, the IPAB will give 15 unelected bureaucrats unprecedented power to slash billions of dollars from Medicare when spending exceeds targeted growth rates. The cuts made by the board will come on top of the $500 billion that was transferred from Medicare to a new entitlement program as a result of the new health care law. Democrats and Republicans have found little common ground in recent years, but there has been widespread agreement that the IPAB could exacerbate the shortage of doctors who see Medicare patients and ultimately, contribute to a reduced quality of care for our most vulnerable.
At a time when all Americans are tiring of partisan politics from both political parties, we must take advantage of the few issues on which both sides can agree. Our lawmakers must now show they are still able to put their short-term political squabbles aside for the common good of America’s patients by repealing
IPAB and uniting for a constructive debate on ways to save our nation’s valued Medicare program.

Dr. Donald J. Palmisano is the former president of
American Medical Association and spokesperson for the Coalition to Protect Patients’ Rights.

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Dr. Donald Palmisano - Past President of the American Medical Association (AMA) 2003-2004 - joins Don and Roma - 6/21/2011


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Listen

Don and Roma talk with Dr. Donald Palmisano, Past President of the American Medical Association 2003-2004.
Find out more about what Dr. Palmisano is writing and talking about
www.intrepidresources.com
Find out about Dr. Palmisano's book, "On Leadership: Essential Principles for Business, Political and Personal Success"www.OnLeadership.US

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((Dr. Palmisano is a clarion voice for the kind of health care reform America REALLY needs - not to mention one of my personal heroes. Anyone who aspires to be a success at anything should read his book, On Leadership, Essential Principles for Business, Political and Personal Success. It was a pleasure to see Dr. P and his wife Robin at the AMA meeting in Chicago earlier this week. As always, Dr. Palmisano was standing up for what he believes is right and fighting for America's health. It is an honor to know this outstanding leader. A more detailed review of On Leadership will follow in a subsequent edition of this newsletter.))

Find out about Dr. Palmisano's book, "On Leadership: Essential Principles for Business, Political and Personal Success"
www.OnLeadership.US

Or buy it on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Leadership-Essential-Principles-Success-ebook/dp/B001IKKDVM/ref=kinw_dp_ke?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

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This LIABILITY & HEALTH REFORM UPDATE is a free service which I provide, as a volunteer, to help supply medical liability reform and health care reform news and information, legislative updates, and political insight to physicians, patients, liability reform and quality health care advocates. NO ONE pays me to do this. I am not employed by any physician or health care reform advocacy or liability reform organization, political party or candidate, although I volunteer for several. I am an advocate for quality health care, physicians, and patients , a breast cancer survivor, physician's spouse, journalist, political noisemaker, mom, and freelance writer. I am not, nor will I ever claim to be, unbiased (I am....biased, I mean), unlike many in the mainstream media. Most information in this newsletter is copied and pasted from other sources, and will always be identified with links. Opinions and clarifications are my own, and do not reflect the official position of any physician or patient advocacy organization, tort reform, or health care reform group unless stated as such. My opinions are placed in double parentheses (("my opinion")), italicized and appear in blue.
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