Corporations and Insurance are taking away your rigth to due process-Including Injured workers s

Author Subject: Corporations and Insurance are taking away your rigth to due process-Including Injured workers s
Advocate Posted At 13:22:39 02/24/2000

"I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a
government can be held to the principles of its constitution."

Thomas Jefferson, Speech to Congress, 1801

The civil justice system is the only branch of government in which an average American
can take on the wealthy and the powerful, where truth and justice still have a fair chance over money and influence.

But our great tradition of unfettered access to an impartial trial by jury now faces an
unprecedented threat from powerful corporations and their lobbyists. These special
interests already dominate the executive and legislative branches through their campaign
Now, they're after the third and perhaps most important pillar of our democracy: the
judicial branch.

Many of America's largest corporations are promoting an alternative, private system of
justice: one which they finance, they control, and which will protect them, not you. Quietly,
the big corporations are taking over independent court reporters; insisting that consumers
waive their right to a jury trial and instead hire private arbitrators to resolve disputes; and
financing the elections of public judges.

But that's not all. These corporations are financing campaigns to restrict the historic right
of Americans to seek redress through the court system against wrongdoers. They call it
"tort reform." It's purpose: to repeal state and federal consumer protection laws. If they
succeed, they'll be able to mistreat you, rip you off, maim or even kill you without fear of
accountability in a court of law.
Del Healthcare Costs Not Hiked By HMO Liability (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 12:46:43 02/25/2000

The Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights

Very well said Advocate.
On the same subject, insurance companies claim that giving people the right to sue them will greatly increase premiums. Yet reality proves these self-serving statements to be false.

Healthcare Costs Not Hiked By HMO Liability

Numerous official studies show liability reform would be both health-enhancing and cost-effective.

In a study of 1 million public employees in California, people who can sue their managed care plans already, the Kaiser Family Foundation found the cost of lawsuits and settlements was minimal-no more than 13 cents per member per month.1

The Congressional Budget Office reported that giving patients the right to sue would add up to only 1.2% to health care premiums, including costs of so-called defensive medicine.2

Washington D.C. based Muse Associates analyzed a provision in the national HMO reform bill, H.R. 1415, that would end federal preemption of workers' remedies for personal injury and wrongful death. Muse Associates' January 1998 study of the provision found no increase to, at most, a 0.2% increase in premiums.3

Dr. Troyen A. Brennan of the Harvard School of Public Health found that the health care system wastes $60 billion annually to care for injuries attributable to undeterred medical negligence. The landmark Harvard Medical Malpractice Study found that medical malpractice causes 300,000 injuries annually in hospitals alone. The deterrent effect of patient protection laws can save the health care system such staggering human and financial losses.4

Existing HMO liability legislation has not resulted in increased costs and litigation. In Texas, an HMO liability measure, SB 386, which took effect in September 1997, has not raised health care costs or resulted in a "litigation explosion."

The Texas Department of Insurance reported that between September 1997 and March 1998 the increase in total spending per member per month of full service HMOs was only 0.1%.5

In written support of similar HMO liability legislation to California state legislators, the author of the Texas libility bill, Texas State Senator David Sibley, writes "When the state of Texas passed its legislation holding managed care organizations accountable, the managed care industry said it would cost over a billion dollars. When an actuarial analysis by Milliman and Robertson for a Texas HMO was performed on the impact of the bill after it was passed, the cost was estimated to be a mere 34 cents per member, per month (about 0.3 percent)."6

Senator Sibley continues, "The law became effective on September 1, 1997 and since then not a single case has been filed." Since Sibley's letter, only one case has been filed under the Texas law.

The New York Times reports, "What lessons does Texas offer? The short answer is that the spotty early evidence does not support a lot of the dire warnings on Capitol Hill about a landslide of litigation."8

1 Impact of Potential Changes to ERISA", Kaiser Family Foundation, June 1998

2 "CBO Cost Estimate- H.R. 3605/S. 1890", Congressional Budget Office, July 16,1998

3 "The Economic Impact of Managed Care Consumer Protection Act", Muse Associates.

4 "Testimony of Dr. Troyen A. Brennan on Medical Malpractice and Health Care Reform Before the Subcommittee on Health and the Environment", Harvard School of Public Health, November, 10, 1993.

5 "In Texas, a Laboratory Test on the Effects of Suing H.M.O.'s", New York Times, Carol Marie Cropper, September 13, 1998, Section 3, pg.1.

6 Texas State Senator David Sibley letter to California legislators in support of AB2436 HMO liability bill, June 24, 1998, pg.1.

7 Sibley letter, pg1.

8 Carol Marie Cropper, Section 3, pg.1.
Marty Re: Corporations and Insurance are taking away your rigth to due process-Including Injured workers s (Currently 1 replies)
Posted At 12:27:05 02/27/2000

This is just one more example of insurance companies putting profits over lives. As long as there's insurance adjusters with absoulutely no decent "human qualities" who are willing to sell their souls for a paycheck these things are going to continue to happen regularly.
First State Malpractice Suit Filed Against HMO in Texas

The family of a man who killed himself after he was discharged from a psychiatric ward has filed what is believed to be the first malpractice lawsuit against an HMO under a new Texas law permitting such suits. The man's family alleges that a doctor working for the health maintenance organization, NYLCare, persuaded the hospital to discharge him "even though he was not yet medically stable." Texas is the only state that has such a law.
A federal judge in Houston upheld the law in September.
Politicians, especially those in Oregon say "insurance companies can be trusted". They say this while filling their pockets with campaign contributions and other non-disclosed bribes. Yet one of the largest MCOs is caught red handed stealing tens of millions.
Medical Secrets?

A federal court in Fort Myers, Fla. partially unsealed affidavits from FBI investigators concerning evidence discovered in a series of searches of Columbia/HCA facilities and offices. The declarations describe a pattern of allegedly fraudulent Medicare billing for nonreimbursable costs, and an accounting system that included contingency funds to allow for some nonreimbursable costs being "caught" by federal auditors. Columbia/HCA spokespersons were unavailable for comment.


Lawyer to the ER . . . Stat!

The United States indicted three Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corporation executives for conspiring to defraud the government "by impairing, impeding, obstructing and defeating the lawful functions of governmental agencies which engage in the management and administration of federal health care programs", namely: Medicare and CHAMPUS. Counsel for the indicted executives declined comment. Read the indictment.


Bad Billing

A union health plan initiated a class action against Columbia HCA Healthcare Corp. for RICO violations. Plaintiffs allege Columbia HCA used a pattern of fraudulent billing carried out by interstate telephone wires to enrich itself. A federal criminal investigation of possible Medicare fraud by Columbia HCA is ongoing. Read the complaint.

Just one more example of insurance companies being above the law and doing whatever they please since they have politicians in their hip pockets.
Has Prudential Learned Its $1 Million Lesson?

Plaintiffs' counsel in a class action against Prudential Insurance Co., sent a letter to a federal judge alleging that Prudential recently discarded approximately 1,200 client record documents related to the litigation. U.S. District Judge Alfred Wolin of Newark, NJ had previously fined Prudential $1 million in sanctions for negligence leading to the destruction of client record documents.
Consumers pay the price at the end just because Smith-Kline learned well from similar schemes of outright theft by insurance companies. For the insurance companies is this an example of "what goes around, comes around." Can you imagine the billions Oregon government could recover if they devoted one-tenth the energy to go after the real theives instead of concentrating on just injured workers in workers' comp.
But then you would have the money to pay people like Gene Derfler and Keven Mannix to "sell-out" their own constituents.
Health Insurers Cry RICO

Thirty-seven large health insurance providers sued SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories, alleging the $1 billion a year testing company deliberately carried out a number of schemes for systematically inflating costs on tests requested by physicians, with costs being borne by patients' health insurers, i.e., the plaintiffs. In a statement, SmithKline called the claims in the suit "grossly exaggerated," and "denied defrauding any insurance companies." Read the complaint.

Also.....A Too Generous Bounty?

By settling a series of lawsuits against SmithKilne Beecham Corp. and its SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories subsidiary, the U.S. recovered over $330 million in Medicaid overcharges. Then a federal court in Pennsylvania addressed the issue of payments to those who filed three underlying qui tam actions. The court ordered the U.S. to pay $42 million to the parties behind those actions in a 75-page opinion that addresses arguments from a government reluctant to concede it needed any help.

Post Reply:

This message board has been closed in regard to posting new messages and follow-ups although pages can be viewed. Page loading time had become excessive. Please use the "Message Forum" link from our Main Page here to contribute to our new and improved forum.

[ To the IW Forum | Forum FAQ ]