Wednesday, January 05, 2005

I'm confused

Bob Walker on today's Crossfire:

WALKER: And because of the fear of lawsuits.

And the other problem is that it's not just the fact that you have the lawsuits themselves that are paid out. It's the fact that every doctor practices defensive medicine against the potential of...

BEGALA: So they're extra careful not to cut the wrong leg off. I think that's good.

WALKER: No. No. No. What they do -- what they do is send -- send patients to a lot of expensive specialists to make certain that their diagnosis can be backed up. And all of those costs and so on are built into the system.

BEGALA: Good. Good. Good.


BEGALA: If it's my kid, they're going to make sure.


BEGALA: But let me raise -- let me bring an expert into this.

WALKER: Very, very huge cost to the overall system, and if it ends up with less doctors, your kid is not benefited by it.

I'm confused. Paying more doctors to look at a problem will make less people want to become doctors? Maybe if a doctor had to pay a specialist out of his own pocket, but generally doesn't the patient pay for that? If anything, defensive medicine increases the amount of dollars chasing medical expertise in our economy.


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