Thursday, September 20, 2007
The only "crisis" in health care in this country is that doctors are paid too little. (Also, they've come up with nothing to help that poor Dennis Kucinich.)
But the Democratic Party treats doctors like they're Klan members. They wail about how much doctors are paid and celebrate the trial lawyers who do absolutely nothing to make society better, but swoop in and steal from the most valuable members of society.
Maybe doctors could get the Democrats to like them if they started suing their patients.
It's only a matter of time before the best and brightest students forget about medical school and go to law school instead. How long can a society based on suing the productive last?
You can make 30 times as much money as doctors by becoming a trial lawyer suing doctors. You need no skills, no superior board scores, no decade of training and no sleepless residency. But you must have the morals of a drug dealer. (And the bank wire-transfer number to the Democratic National Committee.)
The editors of the New York Times have been engaging in a spirited debate with their readers over whether doctors are wildly overpaid or just hugely overpaid. The results of this debate are available on TimeSelect, for just $49.95.
"Many health care economists," the Times editorialized, say the partisan wrangling over health care masks a bigger problem: "the relatively high salaries paid to American doctors."
Citing the Rand Corp., the Times noted that doctors in the U.S. "earn two to three times as much as they do in other industrialized countries." American doctors earn about $200,000 to $300,000 a year, while European doctors make $60,000 to $120,000. Why, that's barely enough for Muslim doctors in Britain to buy plastic explosives to blow up airplanes!
How much does Pinch Sulzberger make for driving the New York Times stock to an all-time low? Probably a lot more than your podiatrist.
In college, my roommate was in the chemistry lab Friday and Saturday nights while I was dancing on tables at the Chapter House. A few years later, she was working 20-hour days as a resident at Mount Sinai doing liver transplants while I was frequenting popular Upper East Side drinking establishments. She was going to Johns Hopkins for yet more medical training while I was skiing and following the Grateful Dead. Now she vacations in places like Rwanda and Darfur with Doctors Without Borders while I'm going to Paris.
Has anyone else noticed the nonexistence of a charitable organization known as "Lawyers Without Borders"?
She makes $380 for an emergency appendectomy, or one-ten-thousandth of what John Edwards made suing doctors like her, and one-fourth of what John Edwards' hairdresser makes for a single shag cut.
Edwards made $30 million bringing nonsense lawsuits based on junk science against doctors. To defend themselves from parasites like Edwards, doctors now pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical malpractice insurance every year.
But as the Times would note, doctors in Burkina Faso only get $25 and one goat per year.
As long as we're studying the health care systems of various socialist countries, are we allowed to notice that doctors in these other countries aren't constantly being sued by bottom-feeding trial lawyers stealing one-third of the income of people performing useful work like saving lives?
But the Democrats (and Fred Thompson) refuse to enact tort reform legislation to rein in these charlatans. After teachers and welfare recipients, the Democrats' most prized constituency is trial lawyers. The ultimate Democrat constituent would be a public schoolteacher on welfare who needed an abortion and was suing her doctor.
Doctors graduate at the top of their classes at college and then spend nearly a decade in grueling work at medical schools. Most doctors don't make a dime until they're in their early 30s, just in time to start paying off their six-figure student loans by saving people's lives. They have 10 times the IQ of trial lawyers and 1,000 times the character.
Yeah, let's go after those guys. On to nuns next!
But Times' readers responded to the editorial about doctors being overpaid with a slew of indignant letters – not at the Times for making such an idiotic argument, but at doctors who earn an average of $200,000 per year. Letter writers praised the free medical care in places like Spain. ("Nightmare" in the Ann Coulter dictionary is defined as "having a medical emergency in Spain.")
One letter-writer proposed helping doctors by having the government take over another aspect of the economy – the cost of medical education:
"If we are to restructure the system by which we pay doctors to match Europe, which seems prudent as well as inevitable, we must also finance education as Europeans do, by using state dollars to finance the full or majority cost of higher education, including professional school."
And then to reduce the cost of medical school, the government could finance "the full or majority cost" of construction costs of medical schools, and "the full or majority cost" of the trucks that bring the cement to the construction site and the "the full or majority cost" of coffee that the truck drivers drink while hauling the cement and ... it makes my head hurt.
I may have to see a doctor about this. I should probably get on the waiting list now in case Hillary gets elected.
That's how liberals think: To fix an industry bedeviled by government controls, we'll spread the coercion to yet more industries!
The only sane letter on the matter, I'm happy to report, came from the charming town of New Canaan, Conn., which means that I am not the only normal person who still reads the Times. Ray Groves wrote:
"Last week, I had the annual checkup for my 2000 Taurus. I paid $95 per hour for much needed body work. Next month, when I have my own annual physical, I expect and hope to pay a much higher rate to my primary care internist, who has spent a significant portion of his life training to achieve his position of responsibility."
There is nothing more to say.
Ann Coulter is a bestselling author and syndicated columnist. Her most recent book is Godless: The Church of Liberalism.