Friday, January 07, 2005

I have to get this off my chest.

A few days ago, I was listening to Bush talk about limiting the maximum amount of money a jury can award victims of medical malpractice. That way, insurance companies won’t have to continue to raise their rates for doctors, doctors can stay in business, and more doctors means a healthier America. As usual, this proposed law is an attempt to fix a symptom, rather than address the cause. Close to 200,000 people die in this country every year from medical errors. That’s the sixth highest killer in the U.S. In addition to that staggering figure, 1,000,000 more are injured. Now I could be a jerk and say, “well if doctors would just stop killing people...” There is a small percentage of doctors out there that have a few more bad days that they should. Looking a little more closely at such doctors, and taking them out of the game if they’re not up to the high standards necessary for people we entrust with our lives, would go a long way towards reducing malpractice claims. Let’s take a look at the source, not take it out on the victims.

This common, backwards approach reminds me of another issue that’s bothered me for some time now. A couple of years ago, the supreme court heard arguments as to weather or not government funded colleges could award a few extra points to the admission applications of minorities. I really couldn’t take a side here, because the real problem lies elsewhere. This measure pretty much admits that minorities receive a sub-standard high school and elementary school education. That’s the problem that needs to be addressed. If our nation’s public school systems were able to prepare our children for further studies, minorities wouldn’t need that head start. College admissions could then be colorblind, academic achievement would be the deciding factor in college admissions, and the much desired student body diversity would come automatically.

I know. Easier said than done.


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