To the editor:
Dr. Barbieri makes a clear and compelling case on the issue of federal medical liability reform. The Democratic party’s opposition to restructuring this corrupt system—in which trial lawyers make too much money and patients get little benefit overall—constitutes true political corruption.
It is sad to think how many Americans would benefit by reform of this system and how much harm the Democratic party is causing. Think of how many uninsured Americans could have coverage if $100 billion per year was not wasted on this terrible system. Politicians cloak themselves in clichés about helping patients, but all they want is to get reelected with the money wealthy trial lawyers send them. The fact that the media refuse to challenge lawyers on this subject shows how intimidated and cowardly they really are. I appreciate your courage for speaking out.
STEVE WASZAK, MD
Dr. Barbieri responds:
I agree with Dr. Waszak that the massive support the trial lawyers offer the Democratic party is a major factor in this debate, and played a large role in the Senate’s filibuster of liability reform (see our editorial, “Solving the medical liability riddle” December 2002). In the fall session Dr. Bill Frist plans to reintroduce liability reform legislation that focuses on the crisis facing obstetricians and nurse-midwives.