I have a plan, not as significant as the Reverend Martin Luther King’s dream, but nevertheless important.

We have a serious conflict of interests – two confronting points of view – what is best for the victim of medical malpractice as opposed to what is best for doctors.

The victims want and should be redressed (compensated) for serious injuries caused by doctors.

Doctors want immunity from the claims of victims – they threaten leaving town and the state unless their medical malpractice premiums are drastically reduced. Is that fair?

So far to my knowledge no one has come up with a solution that will satisfy both needs.

The first and very basic question that arises is “Why should doctors get special treatment? Are they destitute?” Certainly not from what I know. I haven’t seen a starving doctor since the great depression and I’m not sure I saw one then.

Do the doctors perform some Holy service (like our churches and synagogues) that would entitle them to this exemption? If the doctors are given what they want who gets hurt? Answer: The general public and especially the victims of doctors’ negligence, that’s who.

What can we do? I have a plan, a simple plan. In keeping with the simple the simple slogan “Keep It Simple Stupid”. Here it is: Let’s call it income medical malpractice because it will be tied to the doctor’s individual income. Have 10% (or a negotiated figure) of a doctor’s income go toward purchasing liability malpractice insurance for the victims of doctors’ malpractice. Let the IRS (which is already set up) collect 10% or more of a doctor’s net income. This will be used to buy malpractice insurance for the doctors in Texas for the benefit of the patient victim. That way the doctor pays according to his income (on $200,000.- only $20,000.-) ($400,000.- $40,000 etc.) and can’t complain that he is being run out of town. There will be limits on recoveries taking into consideration the amount of the coverage that can be obtained with the overall premiums. Administrative costs would be rigidly controlled. Let the fund be administered by the state medical association, with this provision we keep the government out of the equation except for collection of the premiums by the IRS.

How about that. Simple enough? Oh yes – for the benefit of the very, very few doctors who are not showing a profit, a small part of the premiums will go to buy insurance to cover those doctors.

I’m sure we will hear a storm of protest from guess who? But what can they say? It’s not fair. Why isn’t it fair?

There is only one sinister downside to this plan. I’m leaving town the minute this article is published.

P.S. If you want to know more about my plan contact me at an unknown address (I’ll never tell).


Carl Waldman
Waldman Smallwood Law Firm P.C.

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