Saturday, November 12, 2005

After Losing by 20 Points, Trial Lawyers Declare Victory

I received this email from a Spokane lawyer:

The Washington State Trial Lawyers Association just had a great victory - 55.5% to 44.5%. Folks that was an 11 point spread. By the way, this was an off year election, it can get better. As a result of that campaign I feel that I learned some things that will help us on all justice and economic issues. I feel like I can pause and regroup before going back to the barricades.

The insurance industry relied on demonizing attorneys and piggy backing on the trust that people of necessity have in their doctors. We broke that cycle when we PERSONALIZED the harm that was being done to individuals and the callous response of the medical community. I had a number of people tell me how impressed they were by the ad with the guy who had his throat burned away by an anesthesiologist and told us about it through a squawk box. At that point the insurance companies appeared to be saying, "We don't care about people just lower our costs."

Compared to doctors, Republicans legislators and oil companies will be a piece of cake. We need to find real people who are being hurt by their policies and get their story in front of the public.

I can only assume that the "victory" they are describing is the defeat of Washington's I-330 which:
...would change laws governing claims for negligent health care, including restricting noneconomic damages to $350,000 (with exception), shortening time limits for filing cases, limiting repayments to insurers and limiting claimants’ attorney fees.
The Trial Lawyers vocally opposed I-330 (which would cut their potential income from such cases) and even wrote their own initiative (I-336) which would have increased bureaucratic regulation of health care. Any competent observer of American politics should know that having a pathetic story is not sufficient to produce a victory - and a look at the final numbers is quite enlightening. Promoted through a front for the WSTLA, "Citizens for Better Safer Healthcare," I-336 suffered a devastating defeat in the same election - losing by almost TWENTY POINTS:
Measure - Votes For - Votes Against
Initiative Measure 330 - 656385 44.146% 830467 55.854%
Initiative Measure 336 - 590231 40.163% 879358 59.837%
So Washington Trial Lawyers celebrate another's loss while ignoring their own defeat by double the margin.

If this is victory, I can't wait to see their defeat.


JJH said...

Since both initiatives lost, the trial lawyers can at least take solace in the fact that the status quo benefits them far more than it ought to. I suppose they can call that some kind of victory. "We suck, but we can still make assloads of cash at the expense of patients and doctors," basically. Pathetic.

Nick said...

But of course they can never admit that.