Socrates said people frequently confuse — conflate, really — things that are “legal” with things that are “just.”
Things, unfortunately haven’t changed much.
For instance, in many states it is legal for special interests to make less-than-transparent donations to politicians to curry behind-the-scenes influence. Is this just or fair?
If not, perhaps it’s time for us to start putting our own hard questions to some of the prominent people in our capitols. If we want to get serious about changing this manipulative practice and curtail the pernicious influence of trial lawyers, there are three things we can start doing immediately.
First, start spreading the gospel of reform. The trial bar has deep pockets, but in a free country, they don’t have a grip on the media or public education campaigns. If your small business or loved one has been hurt by the excess of trial attorneys, speak up.
Second, it’s time for some inward soul-searching by trial judges. They don’t have to play the game. If appellate judges notice a bad trial decision, they should overturn it.
Finally, voters can pressure legislators to adopt reforms, reject liability-expanding judges or simply push ballot initiatives to more immediately address glaring problems.
I agree with Melvin’s Nichols’ Aug. 22 letter stating that Medicare is one of the best programs. When President Lyndon Johnson signed it into law in 1965 he said, “No longer will older Americans be denied the healing miracle of modern medicine.”
Unlike, Nichols, however, I am not happy about Medicare Advantage. By approving Medicare Advantage, Congress gave insurance companies a way to get their hands into the taxpayers’ contributions. According to Wendell Potter, a former senior vice president of health insurer Cigna, the federal government has been overpaying insurers $12 billion a year to offer these plans. Everyone should read his book “Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans.”