Archive for Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Veto praised

April 25, 2007


To the editor:

Kudos to Gov. Kathleen Sebelius for her veto of CCR SB 55, a bill that would have exempted all health care providers from the full coverage of the Consumer Protection Act. The governor's veto safeguards the interests of Kansas consumers of health care, which is basically everyone, right?

Contrary to the assertions of the Kansas Medical Society and other health care providers, who were pushing the bill through the Legislature, the veto simply maintains the status quo. The veto keeps the 30-year-old Consumer Protection Act intact, with no special exemptions for deceptive practices and unconscionable acts for any professionals. The Consumer Protection Act is probably more important now than when it was created, given the blurred lines between business and the health care industry.

As a member of the board of Kansas Advocates for Better Care, and as a civil justice attorney, I applaud the governor's thorough and intelligent review of this bill, resulting in the only reasonable conclusion: a veto - no free passes for deceptive acts and practices.

Margaret Farley,



Jamesaust 10 years, 7 months ago

"The veto keeps the 30-year-old Consumer Protection Act intact, with no special exemptions for deceptive practices and unconscionable acts for any professionals."

I wonder at those who have such weak arguments that they have to lie to make their point.

The bill was introduced this session after a Kansas Supreme Court ruling this(!) year finding that the wording of the KCPA was general enough that they could not say that the Legislature did not intend to cover physicians. So, yes, its the "status quo" if you measure by hours.

Expect another bill to be introduced once the frivolous lawsuits begin to be filed now that Sebelius has given the 'green light.'

mfarleigh 10 years, 7 months ago

It is not a lie. The 2007 Amrani decision affirmed that the prohibition of deceptive acts and practices under the Kansas Consumer Protection Act as between consumers and suppliers of services does in fact apply to physician services. If it had not been the law under the Consumer Protection Act, the Court would have said so, and would have tossed out the Williamson claim against Dr. Amrani under the Kansas Consumer Protection Act, instead of sending it back to proceed further to the jury. But the alleged facts of Amrani--a physician who allegedly deceived his patient about the effectiveness of his back surgeries--fit the prohibitions under the consumer protection act--and the Court agreed with the patient, that she could have her day in court before a jury of her peers against the doctor under the KCPA for alleged deceptive acts and practices.

Jamesaust 10 years, 7 months ago

Please! If you had bothered to read the opinion, you would note that there was no precedent for the courts to look to where any person had ever conceived that the KCPA applied to physicians until this single patient decided that they were disappointed that their surgery fell short of their expectations. Indeed, as the minority opinion pointed out, there's no rational need to conceive of it as the Kansas statutes and case law are filled with regulation of physicians and their medical practices already via separately crafted, specialized statutes to govern this relationship - a physician/patient relationship, not a seller/buyer one. We do not even speak of "buying" spinal surgery, let alone equate it with buying a bedroom-set, or hiring someone to clean your house.

To state that coverage of medical care by the KCPA is a matter of longstanding practice is the defintion of a "lie" - a statement intended to pervert the truth, a misrepresentation of facts with embellishment added to lend credibility where credibility is lacking. Any attorney advising their client that they WOULD recover under these facts PRIOR to this case would: (a) ironically, be liable under the KCPA themselves, (b) be liable for malpractice, and (c) probably face disciplinary sanctions. So much for your "status quo."

Again, my guess is that it won't take long for frivolous lawsuits to be filed and the bill reintroduced in the next legislative session. Until then, I guess physicians will just have to push yet another form under patient's noses whereby they acknowledge that there's no guarantees to their treatment and they relinquish any right to sue if there's a gap between their expectations and reality (as opposed to ACTUAL malpractice) ... or they can just go find a more stupid doctor elsewhere who hasn't yet learned that, where there's money, there's lawsuits.

Meanwhile, no additional lame person will walk, not one more life will be saved, no malpracticing physician be held even one tad more responsible as a result of this veto. But lawyers will fatten their bank accounts (which probably explains the incentive "to see" things they way the majority of Justices did), especially the tort-lawyer wing of the Democrat Party (which explains the bought-and-paid-for veto).

Jackalope 10 years, 7 months ago

Jamesaust , My, my, what an impassioned defense for the poor doctors who, dispite all of the troubles you see them endure, seem to make a fairly nice living in the state. Not seen one yet buying dress shoes at PayLess.

And I take it you are in favor of doctors cheating and lying to consumers. Maybe they truly are gods as they would want all to believe? Maybe they are not human? Maybe none of them are nuts? Maybe , maybe, maybe. But, not likely. But, then again, maybe you are?

pelliott 10 years, 7 months ago

Thanks indeed to the governor, there is little chance for justice in the court system without special laws to prevent you even getting a day in court if you have the evidence. A free get out of jail card should be restricted to games, not given by the state legislators to certain classes.

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