Thursday, April 20, 2006

Journal-Sentinel Peddles GOP Spin

How's this for a front-page article title: "Doyle Veto a Win for Trial Lawyers."

The bill vetoed by Doyle would've allowed health care providers in Wisconsin to maintain secret files on quality, files that could not be accessed for evidence in medical malpractice suits. Unless, of course, the providers wanted to use them for their defense.

Based on reading the article, you'd think that it was trial lawyers themselves who were arbitrarily suing the health care providers simply for keeping records that documented medical errors.

Here's the second line of the article: "The governor vetoed a bill that would have prevented lawyers from subpoenaing information on health care quality when suing hospitals, nursing homes and other health care providers."

Seems to me these suits are brought by citizens who were harmed during a medical procedure. Vetoing this bill was a victory for those individuals and their families.

But conservative proponents of the bill--and other legislation like the "pain and suffering" cap--don't want to make it out like an issue between the providers and the patients. It's a much easier battle to fight when it's providers facing off against the supposedly greedy and powerful "trial lawyers."

And the biggest newspaper in the state took the bait--hook, line, and sinker.

UPDATE: Looks like Xoff beat me to the punch on this one. I guess I'll need to set my alarm clock earlier next time. His post is more in-depth than mine, so be sure to check it out if you haven't already.

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