There is no justice in our medical system. We live in a world where families are holding car washes and bake sales to pay for deaths and medical expenses for their loved ones. Our families have to crowdsource money from friends and neighbors to make sure babies get their medicine. And families that are most devastated by medical negligence on the part of corporate hospitals are being left to foot the bill for multi-billion dollar industries.
Enter the world of “tort reform”- a fancy name for a limit on how much money multi-billion dollar corporate hospitals have to pay to families whose lives were medically devastated under their watch. A clear goal within the Republican National Agenda, “tort reform” is a coordinated attack on everyday families that is not just insulting- it’s inhumane. How can any lawmaker go to sleep at night knowing that family bake sales are subsidizing the shirked responsibility of corporations that reap billions of dollars in profits each year?
But the very entities that help set the outrageous prices for medical expenses in the first place are playing the victim here in New Mexico- claiming that a fund they use to limit their responsibility in paying families will not be “solvent” if they are restricted access from using it. Corporate hospitals- not well known for their initiatives on workers’ rights- seem to be sounding the alarm to their employees and subsequently using doctors as shields for their corporate greed in defeating House Bill 75- a bill that holds these multi-billion dollar corporate hospitals accountable for negligence that happens under their watch and (finally) boots out corporate hospitals from the Patient Compensation Fund that was intended to help local doctors and patients.
When faced with this, all of a sudden, corporations care about the solvency of a fund they bankrupted when they entered it. All of a sudden they also care about “doctors leaving the state”. But let’s be honest- when was the last time corporate hospitals showed up for their workers? When was the last time they showed up for patients?
The reality is that medical negligence on the part of hospitals kills 440,000 people each year. These are preventable deaths, and that’s the third leading cause of death in the United States. Perhaps the corporate lobby should spend more time preventing the overworking of their employees, train and oversee their workers so they can thrive in the field they love and chose to serve in. If the corporate lobby cared whether doctors left this state they would pay their doctors more, fight just as hard to ensure they have safe working conditions instead of ungodly nights and weekends being on-call and have access to the resources they need if something does go wrong.
But instead, multi-billion dollar corporate hospitals are spending their time stiffing New Mexican families and preserving their profits- fighting against House Bill 75 and lobbying for Senate Bill 239, a bill that boasts unlimited claims on behalf of hospitals and is full of Republican National Agenda “tort reform”… the same “reform” that keeps our families selling muffins to pay for medicine.
Family bake sales can no longer subsidize corporate payouts. They shouldn’t have had to in the first place. It’s time to rip the corporate band-aid and pass HB75, the Fairness for New Mexico Patients Act.