(I really apologize for these lengthy replies ... why doesn’t someone just ask me a simple question, like what would be the FIRST THING I’D DO IF ELECTED?)
With regard to allegations that I and my medical-political group COSCO (The Medical Chiefs of Staff Coalition) closed down Emergency Rooms in South Florida in the late 1980s, let me respond:
Right off the top, let me confirm that the (unavoidable & unfortunate) outcome of our reluctant actions did indeed result in the closure of certain E.R.s (in Dade County mostly, as I recall) during 1986-87.
Let me qualify my answers with a few caveats: 1) These activities occurred approximately 23 years ago; 2) I have a filing-cabinet full of data from that era in storage either in Shalimar, Florida or Muncie, Indiana in regard to those issues pending my retirement and assumption of a third career as an Author; 3) I am currently on the Campaign trail, do not have access to any of this data and cannot unequivocally recall the details of those distant events.
However, the background is important: A Medical Liability crisis was Full steam ahead in Florida. Racketeering plaintiff attorneys were ripping off the Med-Mal insurance companies with a variety of contemptible schemes to Stick-Up doctors and hospitals for unwarranted Malpractice Awards. A typical scheme would involve suing a half dozen or more Physicians and a hospital or two for some minor untoward medical outcome oftentimes due to the patients non-compliance as much as anything else.
In such an instance, the Med-Mal insurance carrier would be looking at defending a handful or more of Providers. Such defense costs could total tens of thousands of dollars per each covered entity. The Insurance carrier could do the math: eg., six doctors and a hospital at say $30,000.00 each = >$200 Grand. Plaintiff offers to settle for a hundred grand. Carrier escapes the possibility of a large Pain & Suffering award which could total millions, saves a hundred grand in defense costs; and therefore mandates that each Doctors policy pays out less than 15 grand a mere pittance to settle.
And the Stick-up artist banks a big number for the cost of filing a few papers! (Under the U.S. Contingency Fee arrangement the lawyer gets a third of the profit, often after deducting expenses.) What a scam!
Meantime (and remember this was almost a quarter century ago! ... Figure the cost in todays dollars): OB/Gyn specialists & surgeons were paying more than $100,000.00 (1980s dollars) for annual Liability Insurance Premiums; General doctors like myself were being asked to pay somewhere in the region of 30 Grand P.A.; and I knew a Neurosurgeon who, as I recall, was facing a $250,000.00 annual premium! For only three events. It was truly sickening.
We had to fight this situation; and of course we doctors took great financial & license risks by covering trauma and acute care in the E.R., which was often the venue for the commencement of these cases! Hence many of us stopped covering our particular E.R.s. As I recall Jackson Memorial Hospital remained active providing back-up coverage throughout the period.
I as I am doing now against ObamaNation came out of my private life to fight the crisis. I founded and chaired a large Medical Organization named COSCO to fight the fight. We agitated for Tort Reform, gave the Plaintiff attorneys a tough fight, lobbied in Tallahassee and withdrew ER services. (Mostly to protect ourselves).
As I seem to recall saying at a national interview, on either Good Morning America or The Today Show: ... The Doctors of Dade County are devastated at having to undertake this action. We were indeed saddened. But what to do? It was a tough time. Many of us left the state after this concluded. I went to Law-School, partly in response to my experience in this conflict.
We need to access those National T.V archives from 1987 I think it was; and I will try; but frankly I am too busy right now trying to Save America!
Maybe some of you Oppo. Research folks could do us all a favor for once and find those archives to authenticate the events of my distant leadership role. No point asking Marco about any of this though ~ I guess he was only about 15 or 16 years old at the time!
Anyone think a little experience and maturity could go a long way to help solve Florida’s problems now?
And finally, let me say that, if elected I pledge to attempt to do the same thing to the Federal Government that my group is alleged to have done to Florida’s E.R.s — SHUT THEM DOWN!
Another very RESPONSIVE response ! Thank you again for your service (Past, Present, & Future). May God Bless your efforts, I am convinced that you are EXACTLY who we need in the U.S. Senate representing the State of Florida!
Passing it on..
I believe I have updated my ping list with all the add/drop requests I have received this week... If you did not get this ping and wanted to.. or got this ping and did NOT want to please FReepmail me and accept my apology .. I have done major ping list maintenance this week.