Transcript of NewsHour with Jim Lehrer

Thursday, January 16, 2003


RAY SUAREZ: Joanne Doroshow, was the president's assessment of what's wrong with the system correct and is his solution a help? 

JOANNE DOROSHOW: Unfortunately he's quite wrong. His proposal is an extremely cruel proposal that will do nothing other than give insurance companies more rights than catastrophically injured children, putting more money in the pockets of the insurance companies, taking it away from the families that need it. Will do absolutely nothing to help the doctors who are being price-gouged by the insurance industry. The only way to solve that problem is to specifically reform the insurance industry like consumer groups have been calling for, for years. These kinds of crises happen periodically. They happened in the mid '80s, they happened in the mid '70s. The only way to solve it is to bring down rates through reforms of the insurance industry. Caps do not work. 

These kinds of proposals not only take money out of the pockets of families who need them, but they're an offense to the right to trial by jury in this country. The jurors are the only ones that listen to evidence in a case, and here we have, you know, Congress and the Bush administration coming in and trying to tell local judges and juries what they can award and can't award in a case. This is really offensive. It's never happened in the 200-year history of our country.
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