Friday, August 10, 2007

Doctors vs. Lawyers - Part II

This is interesting. The Chicago Tribune has a site to check on campaign contribitions to the 2007 Presidential Campaign.

I typed in "Doctor" under the Occupation field and got:

254 contributions totaling $255,011.71.

Then I typed in "Lawyer" in the Occupation field and got:

1,489 contribtions totaling $1,653,421.35.

So I wonder whose interests will be attended to first in the political health care debate?

-Wes

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, healthcare contributions aren't exactly limited to doctors, are they?

Greedy Trial Lawyer said...

It is unlikely that every lawyer or every doctor has the same point of view regarding the future of health care in our country. There are plenty of lawyers who represent the interests of hospitals, drug companies, insurance companies and even medical clinics. And, among the lawyers who have no professional association with any of these groups I am unaware of a unified position on health care reform. I doubt that anyone would be able to predict what my position would be on health care issues even though I am a personal injury lawyer. I do not know how I would feel about any particular changes in medical practice except I would like doctors to carry higher limits on their medical malpractice insurance.

DrWes said...

Greedy TL-

It is unlikely that every lawyer or every doctor has the same point of view regarding the future of health care in our country.

Agreed. It is interesting that the AVERAGE donation amount was fairly similar: $1003.98 for doctors and $1110.42 for lawyers. Does this mean doctors have a perspective that politicians aren't worth donating to? Does it mean that lawyers have more to gain if their candidate wins? Or are there many fewer doctors capable of coughing up a grand and change for the political race due to cuts in reimbursement rates? Or is it just that there are there many, many more lawyers than doctors finding this race important to their interests? It's probably a combination of these issues. But the fact that there ARE so many lawyers relative to doctors, it is no wonder the voice of the doctors are muted - at least until the politicians come in for their annual rectal exam...

...I would like doctors to carry higher limits on their medical malpractice insurance."

Trust me: we're carrying as much med mal as we can afford. With costs escalating nearly 10% per year, it's becoming nearly impossible for the average Doc to make ends meet.

shadowfax said...

It's worse then you thought.

The keyword "physician" brought up another 3200 donators; the keyword "attorney" brought over 21,000!

Course that's hardly news. Look at the relative funding for the PACs of ATLA and the AMA. A few years ago we were trying to get state level tort reform and it was like pulling teeth to get doctors to give, but the lawyers' lobby was flush with cash and buried us with ads. (and we lost the election, though only by a couple of points.)

Lawyers know how to politic, and they know how to give to make their voices heard.

The Independent Urologist said...

10% per year! I wish. Nice post. Hospital adminstrator eh? Fate worse than death, though I hear they make a lot of money, so maybe you could get me an application.

Seriously, way to much fun fighting the good fight.

Also, I liked greedy lawyer comments. People tend to lump all lawyers in 1 camp and all doctors into another. The problems in health care are way more complex than that.

Thanks for the link.

Anonymous said...

Many of those "lawyer" contributions are from lobbying firms in DC which represent any number of different organizations, but primarily the Fortune 500 and their various business groups. Look at the client list of someone like Philip Howard's firm, the guy who runs "Common Good." I promise you no one in that firm is backing the rights of individuals injured by the result of corporate negligence.

Plenty of those lawyer dollars are pro tort "reform" donations.