I’m pretty sure that this crappy Post-Dispatch article was adapted wholesale from an Americans for Prosperity news release. It’s a series of statements from conservative cranks like Carl Bearden, with no attempt to put the statements in context or verify their accuracy.

To wit, the tired panacea of “tort reform” as a way of reining in health care costs:

One of Americans for Prosperity’s primary messages is the need to revamp medical malpractice insurance, reforms that Bearden said had proved successful in Missouri.

“Tort reform is probably one of the highest issues, and the number of doctors leaving the state has stopped – or nearly stopped – and the premiums have dropped,” Bearden said.

Well, according to Matt Blunt himself, tort reform has worked wonders in Missouri, slashing malpractice claims and insurance payouts alike. That’s nice if you’re an insurance company, or even a doctor who might have to worry about being sued. But it hasn’t stopped an increase in the amount people pay their insurance company every month. Raise your hand if you are a Missourian paying lower premiums with lower deductibles and co-pays than in 2005. I didn’t think so. I would encourage the author of the article, Jacob Carpenter, to familiarize himself with some research on the link (or lack thereof) between tort reform and health care savings.

Also, we have the random anecdotal evidence by one Josephine Dey:

Josephine Dey of Sedalia bristled at the prospect of American health care’s mirroring that of Germany where, she said, a friend had to wait nearly a year for a checkup after surgery.

I can’t speak to the circumstances of that specific story, but I’ll counter with anecdotal evidence of my own. My wife has spent a good deal of time in Germany for her studies. She has gone to the doctor several times there, and has not had to wait for various treatments as pulling wisdom teeth and treating an ear infection. On the other hand, my wife’s doctor in the United States noticed that she had bunions, but told her to get them removed on her next trip to Germany so that she wouldn’t have the pre-existing condition noted in her chart in the United States. Advantage, Germany.

And personally, even though I have good insurance, I’ve lost my raise to rising premiums over the last couple of years.  And I rarely go to the doctor when I get sick, because it’s difficult to get an appointment the same day to get treated. I hate to complain, because I’ve heard a lot worse stories on this site and elsewhere, but I still find it troubling.