Tort Reform Scam Citizens
So-called “Tort Reform” has been a sustained attack by corporations on the rights of citizens to redress their grievances in civil court. The scam works by disguising its real ends. Corporate shills masquerade in astroturf groups using newspapers, television, and the internet, including paid bloggers. They blame many of society’s ills as well as rising insurance rates on “frivolous lawsuits.” No doubt some lawsuits are frivolous, but corporations file a lot more frivolous lawsuits than real people do. The end result of “tort reform” has been to substantially curtail citizens’ access to the courts.
Medical Malpractice Virtually Disappears
Due to tort reform, medical malpractice is nearly impossible to pursue in most states today. No matter how grossly incompetent one’s doctor was, or whether a doctor’s incompetence caused the death or maiming of a patient. The caps which tort reform placed on damages have made pursuing medical malpractice lawsuits nearly impossible for most firms. Only a scant few law firms left in the country still pursue med-mal cases. And despite the dearth today of medical malpractice lawsuits, health insurance rates have only gone up. That gives the lie to the endless tort reform argument that insurance rates would go down when people could no longer sue their doctors (no matter how bad those doctors were).
Meanwhile, corporations’ deep pockets assure their own courtroom access, while they continue spending money on politicians and propaganda to further limit citizens’ access to those same courts. H.R. 985 is more of the same. Disguised as a bill to continue tort reform and attack frivolous lawsuits, its real aim is hidden. HR 985’s real goal is to further limit ordinary citizens’ access to the courts. Even Fox News admitted in a headline: “Republicans introduce bill to kill class action lawsuits.” (See that Fox story here.)
Corporations have worked for years to control the judiciary at the appellate, state and U.S. Supreme Court levels, to undermine the jury system, but most of their money has been spent on politicians who do their bidding. Those career politicians are now pushing tax reform for the richest few Americans, shifting the deficit burden to the rest of us. Meanwhile, they promote H.R. 985 to further take power from citizens and place it in the hands of corporate rulers. (Many Republican lawmakers have openly admitted that if they don’t support the latest tax reform ploy – which helps only the elites and hurts all the rest of us, in the long run– their major corporate donors and billionaire benefactors will stop funding their campaigns.)
H.R. 985 does the opposite of its stated intent – Washington’s M.O.
H.R. 985 pretends to be all about helping people. In reality, it does the exact opposite. If it passes, class action lawsuits may well be wiped out entirely. They will either be cost prohibitive to bring, or they will be so difficult to prosecute that only a fool would try. It’s a crime how duplicitous these scams are. It’s the same kind of disingenuous lying we’ve seen from Washington for years. The so-called “Clear Skies initiative” wiped out rules for corporate polluters. The “Healthy Forests Initiative” was just a timber industry giveaway. So-called “Operation Iraqi Liberation” (OIL) destroyed Iraq and gave its people endless war and foreign occupation. If politicians are trying to sell us something “for our own good,” we can usually figure their real intent directly opposes their promotion and the name they give it.
H.R. 985 Misleads Citizens
If you care about your rights in dealing with banks, credit card companies, cell phone providers, doctors’ offices, hospitals, telemarketers, and almost anything else that directly impacts your pocketbook, your health, or your family, contact your Senators and tell them to vote “No” on H.R. 985. The House of Representatives passed this awful bill, but it still needs to get through the senate to become law.