Takeouts: President Obama's Health Care Summit, Disaster at the Ski Slopes, U-Michigan's Football Program Under NCAA Investigation

Thursday, February 25, 2010

  • WASHINGTON TAKEOUT:  Will the president's health care summit be a bipartisan love-fest or more of the same legislative gridlock? Takeaway Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich brings us a preview.
  • OLYMPICS TAKEOUT: Team USA suffered a big shock yesterday when Lindsey Vonn crashed out of the Grand Slalom. Jason Stallman, Olympics editor for The New York Times talks to us about this race and the Men's Hockey competition.
  • SPORTS TAKEOUT: After a five-month investigation, the NCAA has alleged that the University of Michigan's football program committed major violations. Takeaway sports contributor Ibrahim Abdul-Matin joins us with the backstory.

Guests:

Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, Jason Stallman and Todd Zwillich

Comments [3]

Donald J. Mulcare from Fairhaven, MA

The cost of health care has risen dramatically because of profiteering by the legal profession. We would have lower health care costs if the profit motive was removed from the lawyers, while injured patients could receive the care that they would need in the event of malpractice.

One of the medical expenses that we all pay is the proportional share of our physician’s medical malpractice insurance. For instance, my wife had a knee replaced in July of 2009. The surgeon is excellent and had never had to pay a malpractice claim. He does about ten surgeries each week, let’s say 500/year. Despite his clean record, he must charge an extra $400/ surgery to cover his malpractice insurance premiums.

Doctors of internal medicine must order expensive tests, not because they are medically necessary, but because they need to rule out the one in a million chance that a problem has been caused by a rare circumstance. The 999,999 patients that do not have this rare condition still have to pay for the expensive test so that the doctor can survive the legal ramifications of a malpractice claim.

The pharmaceutical industry is also subject to harassment by opportunistic lawyers. Recently, during an evening news program, a commercial for Chantix, an anti smoking drug, described the product and then listed the potential side effects of the drug. That commercial was soon followed by a commercial for a lawyer who listed all of the same side effects of Chantix in order to recruit clients who had experienced any of these side effects. The same scenario is played out for a host of other prescription drugs. Patients have been forewarned by the drug company, but still the lawyers are looking to take huge commissions for winning a case against a drug company. We all pay for the judgments and the settlements including the money that goes to the lawyers. Why could there not be a form of binding arbitration without the need for large fees paid to profiteering lawyers?

I support your work to bring affordable and effective health care to everyone in the USA, especially the 47 million (Us Census Bureau number) who lack health insurance, not just the 31 million who have been targeted by the current plan.

Best wishes,

Donald J. Mulcare, PhD
Professor Emeritus of Biology
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

Feb. 25 2010 08:51 PM
Chris Fisher from Concord, MA

It seems embarassing having the President of Toyota testifying before Congress. Can you imagine Edward Whitacre (of GM) being compelled to testify before the Japanese Diet?

Feb. 25 2010 09:13 AM
dean robinson from Bristol, RI

wup! it's 9am EDT. First words from Rush Hockenberry: sarcastic remark on our hard working president's efforts. Time to turn off the radio. I will soon pull my 20 years going support for WGBH.

Feb. 25 2010 09:10 AM

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