The only reason I'm addressing this issue is to counter yet another propaganda lie of
the Bush Administration and the Republican Party. I'm sure that lawyers can take
care of themselves. But that's not the real issue here.
The real issue here is about political smears. In this case, it's comprised of 3
1) Damage the reputation of attorneys
2) Target John Edwards
3) Promote the erroneous idea that Democrats are in favor of a litigious society
The Election of 2000, all by itself, proves the hypocrisy of these tactics. When
Al Gore legitimately asked for a recount of votes in Florida, the first thing that
happened is that the Republicans enlisted leagues of lawyers to block it.
When the Federal Election laws were changed to limit "soft-money"
contributions, George Bush signed the new legislation with full knowledge that lawyers
would be engaged to battle the attempt to make elections fair by challenging its
Personally, I believe the only free speech issues in an election are those that
equalize the ability of candidates to address voters, as well as ensuring the free speech
of citizens in assessing the will of the people.
They say John Edwards made his money as an ambulance chaser, as a personal injury
They say that health care costs and our health system as a whole is being damaged by
Latest statistics show that more than 50% of denied health care claims filed by
consumers are overturned through litigation, arbitration or basic appeal processes.
The statistics also show that 25% of Americans feel no remorse about filing false claims.
The role of an insurance company is NOT to provide health benefits to people. It
is to make a profit, and reducing expenses by NOT paying claims and providing services.
The statistics are an indication of two conditions. The first, the denial of
benefit payments, is clearly based on a practice of disallowing benefits for profits.
It is not unusual to find that insurance companies, as a matter of policy, deny
services in hopes that consumers will give up and pay out of their pockets instead.
The second statistic, the 25% of Americans who file false claims, is a statement of
contempt for their benefit providers, and not a simple matter of trying to cheat the
system. We have been trained, by our leaders and unethical business practices, that
the bottom line is about getting what you can, regardless of ethics or justice.
It's part of the pattern of a "make me" world.
It's the same world that has Corporate CEO's defraud investors and the corporations
themselves, because the penalties are less than the profits reaped by unlawful and
It's the same "make me" world that has polluters justify their crimes and
harm people because it's less expensive to pay fines than to be responsible for their
It's the same "make me" world that has companies conducting corporate
espionage and sabotage, as well as monopolist practices, because the penalties are less
than the profit, and because gaining marketshare is worth much more in the long run than
According to the stance of the Bush Administration, lawyers are great for Republican
politicians and corporations, but demons when they use their skills to defend the rights
of victims and citizens' rights.
This "have your cake and eat it too" propaganda campaign is nothing more than
another attempt to manipulate you into believing that the Democrats support a corrupt
regime of lawyers, and forget that these lawyers protect you from those who would cheat
and harm you.
I could tell you a number of stories dealing with this issue, but I'll focus on this
one, which is about my attempts to deal with a situation without a lawyer.
I believe it was in 1998 that I was sitting in a borrowed car at a stop light,
patiently awaiting the light to turn green when all of a sudden another car slammed into
the back of the car at about 50 miles per hour.
The vehicle I was in had only about $1200 in damages. The vehicle that hit me was
nearly totaled. As reported by the police, there was no question that the other driver was
In the process, though, I injured my right shoulder. Initial tests indicated that
I had suffered a torn rotator cuff, which would have cost in excess of $10,000 for the
surgery, rehabilitation and drug prescriptions.
At that time, I was involved in a work situation that required a great deal of my time.
If it had been a case where only my work would have been affected, I would have
pursued immediate treatment. But, other people's futures were directly at risk.
So, I got a preliminary medical examination, one by my general practitioner, another by
a specialist. My personal insurance would not cover the expenses because the
liability was that of the driver of the other car and A Major Insurance Carrier in College
Park, Maryland. The coverage of the vehicle I was driving was limited to less than
$1500. In Maryland, they have a law that allows for medical liens in such cases, but the
medical providers in the area would not perform surgery or such expensive services unless
a provider was identified who would absolutely take responsibility for the debt.
I called the insurance company and told them my situation. I assured them that I
was not interested in anything more than the medical expenses being paid. They sent
me some forms, which I filled out and returned to them. Twice. And then I waited for their
Time after time I called them, and time after time (a matter of months) they told me I
had to fill out the same forms again. So I complied. Finally, when I was tired
of calling them and filling out forms to no avail, I decided I would call an attorney.
But, a friend volunteered to call them on my behalf and see if they could help to
resolve the situation.
The insurance company's response was to have the field agent scream at my friend that
they were lying, and an accomplice in fraud by calling them. Then, an attorney
called my home, and screamed at me, using a great deal of profanity, that I was a liar,
that I was committing fraud, and that he'd see my f-ing ass in jail.
I called an attorney. The bottom line: that the months I had waited,
attempting to resolve the matter without legal representation, would make it appear to the
courts that my claim was a fraud. Bottom line number two: The insurance company knew
that if they stretched it out, that any attorney I hired would have the same opinion. I
called many attorneys, and received the same response.
If I'd had the cash in hand, I would have gone ahead with the surgery, and I would have
sued Allstate for the damages, with pain and suffering as part of the suit. As it stands,
they won, and I have not had the surgery I needed.
We live in a make me world. If I'm ever in a similar situation again, I will hire
an attorney immediately, and seek all the possible damages I can legally get. That's
the system that has been created by companies whose interest is in seeking means to deny
claims. It's an irresponsible practice, used in many industries, that leads to
the litigious culture that has evolved.
Now you may say I was foolish in the first place. Personally, I thought I was
doing the right thing to try to resolve it amicably, as well as to "save the
system" from unnecessary legal fees and "punitive" payouts. I
believed it was a simple situation, and that they would respect my integrity. I was
clearly wrong. It was clearly their policy to get out of taking responsibility any
way they could.
The moral of the story is simple as well: don't blame the attorneys for defending the
rights of citizens. Thank God someone does. And they deserve to get paid, too. If
these companies would live up to their responsibilities in a fair manner in the first
place, and respect the intent of the law, attorneys would not be required for such things
in the first place. The same could easily be said not just of health care, but of
companies that pollute and refuse to clean it up and hundreds of other examples.
I'll have more to say on this matter on a variety of issues and situations.
No contact method available at this time due to spamming of this
(C) 2002,2003-2009 Charles Rehn Jr IV All rights