Well, in a similar vein, today we want to alert you to a blockbuster of an essay written by someone with decidedly more conservative bona fides—Ken Connor (pictured).
Who is Ken Connor you may ask? Among other things, he represented former Governor Jeb Bush in the Terri Schiavo matter, fighting a court order to remove her feeding tube. In 1994, he ran for the Republican nomination for governor of Florida. He served several years as President of the ultra-conservative Family Research Council, and currently serves as Chairman of the Center for a Just Society.
Given the unmistakable weight of these credentials, you can imagine how interested we were to learn Connor is utterly disgusted with his conservative colleagues’ decidedly anti-conservative obsession with wiping out the rights of injured patients. And needless to say, we strongly urge conservatives and non-conservatives alike to read the entirety of his thoughts on the subject—but for now, here’s a sample:
Instead of focusing on truly conservative solutions to our nation's mounting health care crisis, Republican lawmakers and pundits are playing the same old song-and-dance—blaming ballooning health care costs on trial lawyers. This red herring tactic is a classic example of politicians trampling principle in pursuit of politics. In this case, Republicans moonlighting as "conservatives" seek to use tort reform to shield corporate malefactors (who also happen to be their financial benefactors) from full accountability for their wrongdoing….These corporate interests have a vested interest in keeping the tide of public opinion running against trial lawyers because it deflects attention from the widespread problem of negligent and reckless conduct that injures consumers. This "shoot the messenger" tactic not only enables businesses to avoid financial accountability for wrongdoing—it deliberately undermines the people's civil liberty….
The truth is that corporate moguls push for tort reform because they have little use for a civil justice system that puts the little guy on the same plane as the rich and powerful. These so-called fiscal conservatives don't like equal justice. They want preferential treatment—something they are accustomed to getting from politicians because of their hefty campaign contributions….
Tort reform subsidizes wrongdoing by shielding wrongdoers from accountability for the consequences of their misconduct. It is an affirmative action program for corporate miscreants. Incorporating tort reform into health care reform will do nothing to cut medical costs….
If Republicans are truly sincere in their commitment to protecting the rights and liberties of the American people against more and bigger government, they should resist any attempt to federalize the laws of medical malpractice.