The Daily

Medicare’s Repeal and Other Consumer Penalties


Instead of learning the obvious lessons from the HMO/PPO example (, industry leaders and their lobbyists in the nineties prevailed on the Florida legislature for a different solution – one that took more skin out of the hide of consumers. Industry leaders used an organized public relations campaign to pass “tort reform” and laws limiting consumers’ rights. The basic constitutional rights taken from Florida consumers include access to the Courthouse and jury trials. No attention was paid to the disastrous consequences to injured consumers who are never compensated for devastating injuries. Neither did the legislature debate the cost of disincentives to improve quality of care inherent in providing special immunity to health care providers for their errors.

As a result of these laws, many severely injured Floridians are locked out of court and unable to seek redress for damage caused in the health care setting. Medical expenses and costs in the untold billions are not shifted to the party responsible for causing them – unlike every other market. More people than ever are now damaged by medical error2, with those damages being borne not by the health care providers responsible for causing them but subsidized through taxes and otherwise born by the victims who are least able to bear them. Unsurprisingly, in exchange for this subsidized immunity from claims the health and malpractice insurance industries never delivered the promised savings to patient consumers.

Today, Republicans further threaten consumers with a complete blowup of the healthcare delivery and insurance model. They are eyeing the possibility of repealing both the Affordable Care Act AND Medicare. This would put 75 million (seventy five million) people off their insurance. Other than the vague promise of replacing Obamacare with ‘something better’, it is not clear if ANY of the twenty million who lose their insurance purchased through the Exchanges would be covered. As for Medicare, the idea of privatizing it would automatically put all 55 million at risk of losing their coverage.

This new dynamic in the broken health care market is devastating. It will upend the lives of American consumers for generations – whether any of these changes take effect or not. The constant and dramatic flux in the healthcare insurance and and delivery markets is nothing short of a catastrophic failure.

Access to healthcare and quality diagnosis is critical to every personal injury case. Make sure your lawyer understands the existing and coming markets to make sure that your recovery includes unforseen changes. This may included a medical needs trust, a life care plan or a vocational rehabilitation consult. If your lawyer is not experienced, you are not protected.