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    Success of ‘going negative’ changes campaign strategies
    [ # ] A Pre-Med Student’s View on KS SB 55
    April 24th, 2007 under Uncategorized

    By Michael Gray - University of Kansas

     I have always found this time of year to be interesting politically.  The Governor¹s veto session, in recent years, has been particularly interesting due to the party divide between the Legislative and Executive Branch of the State.  The veto session we are presently in has caused me to step back and think, specifically in regards to Kansas Senate Bill 55.  I am currently a sophomore studying to go to medical school and I am also a Democrat.  These two ³hats² I wear do not typically clash, but in regards to SB 55 problems arise. The Democrat in me wants to see justice for all people.  If there has been a wrongdoing, I most certainly do not want to see the wrongdoer go free on a technicality of the law.  My second ³side,² as a pre-med student, forces me to consider how this will affect the medical field.

     Everyone agrees that there is need for a change in our current healthcare system.  Millions of people¹s healthcare needs are being lost in the cracks of a flawed system and it is costing the government nearly $100 billion. This cost could be dramatically decreased if the uninsured people of this nation would seek preventative, not just palliative, care.  Diseases and conditions cost the least to treat when discovered early, which can only be accomplished through regular, preventative care.  There are many answers as to why uninsured Americans only seek medical care when absolutely necessary, but most of these reasons boil down to cost.  In recent years the cost of healthcare has gone up astronomically and it can be traced to frivolous lawsuits.  These lawsuits have forced some practitioners to pay a malpractice insurance annual premium of nearly $300,000, based solely on where they practice and their chosen specialty. The increase of malpractice premiums has had a threefold negative affect.  One, to combat the increasing overhead cost of running a practice and the decreasing reimbursement rates, doctors are being forced to increase their fees. This rise creates a greater divide between those who can receive regular care and those who cannot.  A second response to the increase in overhead costs is that doctors are being forced to see more and more patients per day just to break even.  Patients are being ³herded² through offices and sometimes do not even see a medical doctor during their visit.  One particular office I worked in, an orthopaedic surgeon¹s office, saw seventy to ninety patients per day!
    Things can be overlooked and mistakes can be made when that patient volume is seen. Lastly, many excellent physicians are hanging up the stethoscope in frustration of a failing system where insurance companies and lawyers dictate what will be done.

     I am not saying that physicians should not held accountable.  If a medical practitioner does something that harms their patient, they should take ownership of their actions. The Governor¹s veto of SB 55, if not overturned, opens the door for more frivolous lawsuits that will raise the cost of healthcare in Kansas even more.  If we are serious about reforming the healthcare system, we must choose a practical starting point.  I believe that starting point should be overturning the Governor¹s veto on SB 55.

    More:

    KMS Statement in response to the Governor’s veto of SB 55 regarding amendments to the Kansas Consumer Protection Act


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    [ # 7131 ] Comment from ostnquvdvq [June 23, 2007, 12:09 pm]

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    In December of 2006 Dr. Dhavan Shah of the University of Wisconsin and his “Blogclub” of graduate students and Dr. David D. Perlmutterof the University of Kansas conducted a survey of major political blogs and their readers. The project was partially sponsored by a grant from the Knight/Carnegie Foundation’s Future of Journalism initiative. The summary of the results are posted here--please fully cite us if you refer to the findings.

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