A.J. DiCintio
Lies, damned lies, and statistics
By A.J. DiCintio
March 16, 2010

The two thousand pages of hocus-pocus that is Barack Obama's dangerously ironic healthcare "reform" plan do nothing to solve the crucial problem of bringing medical costs under control while protecting the excellence of American medicine.

However, that mountain of carefully premeditated doublespeak and the Everest of mumbo jumbo liberals have spewed in support of it do serve one good purpose:

They prove that whoever first possessed the courage and insight to report the existence of "lies, damned lies, and statistics" deserves far more praise than he has gotten for alerting us to the most vile corruption that exists in every field of human endeavor.

This truth about lies is critically relevant these days because Barack Obama, the "intellectual" who lectures the American people that earmarks are ultimately insignificant because they represent no more than two percent of the federal budget, while speaking not an honest word about the danger those tumors and the congressional viruses who cause them pose to the life of American democracy, has reprised the same lying tactic in the healthcare debate.

How so? Well, he tells us he can come up with $500 billion in savings from Medicare while swearing he can't find a single fraudulent, wasted penny in the Medical Malpractice Industry, one of the largest entities that operate within the orb of The Lawsuit Cycle, a racket whereby trial lawyers and the Democratic Party become rich beyond their most deliriously joyous dollar-drooling dreams.

Without a doubt, Obama's assertion is a bald-faced lie that proves the brilliance of Mark Twain's observation that "We have the best [politicians] money can buy."

But summa cum laude graduate of the Chicago Political Machine that he is, No Drama for Trial Lawyers Obama doesn't stop at one prevarication; for, putting on his most serious straight face, he immediately lies another as he enlightens us regarding the "fact" that medical malpractice lawsuits consume "just" two percent of annual spending on healthcare.

What a brazen, shameless whopper that one is; for the Chicago Machine grad who earned an A+ in "Statistics for Politicians 401" arrives at his $50 billion figure by conveniently neglecting to consider money wasted on defensive medicine, a direct result of our tort system.

So, how much lying is Obama willing to engage in to protect rapacious parasites who exist in a perverse symbiotic relationship with his party?

For an answer, we can turn to the following research, reported by the Massachusetts Medical Society:

In a study published last year by the Pacific Research Institute ["Jackpot Justice," 2007], the total impact of the current tort system on medical expenditures was estimated to be $124 billion annually, with an additional $38 billion in reduced access to health care.

There you have it. The answer is at least $74 billion worth of "damned lies and statistics" ($124 billion minus $50 billion).

Now that we have a realistic assessment of how much trial lawyers suck out of healthcare spending every year, we can think about the money tort reform can save.

For example, if an innovative Congress aimed at a 40% reduction of the $124 billion by devising an honest, fair, scrupulously efficient plan to compensate victims of medical malpractice, the nation would save $50 billion in healthcare costs annually or $500 billion over ten years.

($500 billion! We can understand why the president desperately wants to keep that number out of the public discourse.)

Problem is, what is good for the country isn't good for Obama and his party because such innovation would drastically reduce the number of money-gorged medical malpractice lawyers.

Moreover, it could possibly cause the medication of reform to be directed at every lawyer who uses the Lawsuit Cycle to suck his sustenance from the vital organs of the American economy.

Now, just the thought of that horror of horrors smothers every Democratic bigwig with a leaden incubus of overwhelming despair.

What, then, is there for a Chicago pol to do but offer — as Obama has done — a Chicago style compromise concocted to gull the public that he is squarely on the side of reform.

Chicago style, in spades, for here is what commentator and former practicing psychiatrist Charles Krauthammer (National Review Online) has to say about the proposal:

[The president's plan offers] a few ridiculously insignificant demonstration projects amounting to one-half of one-hundredth of 1 percent of the cost of [his] health-care bill.

. . . Niblets of "demonstration projects" when Obama has gone whole hog to centralize (not reform) the nation's healthcare system in one huge, federalizing gulp.

. . . Nibbling "demonstration projects" when the goal of real tort reform should be to chomp as much as $50 billion from healthcare costs annually.

It goes to show why millions of Illinois residents, who understand that Carl Sandburg's beloved City of the Big Shoulders is still politically "crooked," would gladly urge the following warning upon their fellow citizens:

If a Chicago politician claims his deep dish demonstration project is anything other than a contemptible scam, he is lying through his teeth.

Finally, there is this, the most frightening truth about Obama's lies regarding the relationship between tort law and medical costs:

Taken together, they represent only one of the many treacherous spikes that make up the multipronged Big Lie that the president and other Democrats are speaking about healthcare.

© A.J. DiCintio


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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A.J. DiCintio

A.J. DiCintio posts regularly at RenewAmerica and YourNews.com. He first exercised his polemical skills arguing with friends on the street corners of the working class neighborhood where he grew up. Retired from teaching, he now applies those skills, somewhat honed and polished by experience, to social/political affairs.


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