his case was different somehow

Santorum Wants Malpractice Award Caps For Everyone Except Himself

Oops. We'll give you $27, final offer.Barely tolerated busy-body Rick Santorum may be running a distant 148th or whatever in Florida, but his website remains a strong competitor for numero uno in terrible ideas. Among the collected abominations is the promise to reduce medical costs by enacting “meaningful medical liability reform.” Okay, ha, no one thinks that would actually help. But credit where credit is due: in 1994, Santorum did, in fact, sponsor the deceptively helpful-sounding Comprehensive Family Health Access and Savings Act, which would have capped awards for medical malpractice at $250,000. Interestingly enough, in his own 1999 malpractice lawsuit, Rick and his wife sought $500,000 for a back injury she suffered. Which is, students, exactly twice what Rick thought other people might deserve. Aren’t numbers crazy?

The Washington Post provides the background:

On the campaign trail, GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum says he will push to limit payments to victims in medical malpractice lawsuits, which he blames for unnecessarily driving up health-care costs. And over the course of his two decades in politics, he repeatedly spoke in favor of capping such awards.

But Santorum testified in support of his wife when she filed a medical malpractice suit in 1999 that sought $500,000, twice the cap in his 1994 legislative proposal. Karen Santorum claimed that a Fairfax chiropractor had left her with a permanent back injury that probably would result in a lifetime of pain medication and restricted mobility.

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This fall, while campaigning in Iowa, Santorum told reporters that he backed some limits but that his wife did not sue for “pain and suffering, which is the area I think we should cap.”

Must be pretty to think so — but no. At the time, the presiding judge called the $350,000 the jury eventually awarded to the Santorum family “excessive,” and noted that pain and suffering must have factored into the jury’s decision, given that the family’s actual medical costs were less than $20,000.

But since there is no evidence that Rick Santorum himself rose to his feet to upbraid the jury for its misplaced largesse, we will just assume that Ricky was stone-cold A-OK with taking home a trunk full of that evil, evil medical malpractice cash, for freedom.

The Santorums’ award check was later whittled down to $175,000, presumably by some liberal activist judge. In revenge (?), Santorum later sponsored the Healthy Mothers and Healthy Babies Access to Care Act, which would have capped awards for non-economic damages from medical malpractice at $500,000, which is all he and his family were asking for in the first place, FOR GOODNESS SAKE! Can’t a guy with exceptional insurance and every possible resource in the world catch a break, ever? [WaPo; Image via Shutterstock]

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161 comments

  1. anniegetyerfun

    Karen Santorum claimed that a Fairfax chiropractor had left her with a permanent back injury that probably would result in a lifetime of pain medication and restricted mobility.

    You sure it wasn't one of the 6,000 pregnancies she has had? I've never beren pregnant, but it looks injurious to me.

    1. comrad_darkness

      Maybe I'm going to wade in on it here, but since when do limits on medical professionals apply to chiropractors?

      1. WunkRocker

        Also she needs to keep having babies as long as she has a pulse. Or it's AMNIOTIC LIBEL against JESUS. If Rick is unwilling (SINNER) then clearly the lord needs to send a blessing (RAPIST).

      2. MaxNeanderthal

        Mencken on Chiropractors -priceless ..

        "This preposterous quackery flourishes lushIy in the back reaches of the Republic, and begins to conquer the less civilized folk of the big cities. As the old-time family doctor dies out in the country towns, with no competent successor willing to take over his dismal business, he is followed by some hearty blacksmith or ice-wagon driver, turned into a chiropractor in six months, often by correspondence. "

    2. SayItWithWookies

      Just guessing here, but I'd think being married to Rick Santorum would result in a lifetime of pain medication and restricted mobility.

      Edit: apologies to Callyson for almost exactly duplicating her comment…

      1. Terry

        "Pain medicine"? Is that the euphemism for "Staying drunk or drugged up so I don't have to think about this pitiful bastard I'm married to"?

    3. Maman

      I have been pregnant and sometimes my hip stil slips out of joint while walking down the hallway the way it did when I had an 11lb human being inside me. Yeah, I am sure it was bad chiropracting that caused the pain.

        1. MissTaken

          And I'm sure they keep a sheet between them with a hole cut out. Mmm…the romance of shame sex.

          1. Rotundo_

            Followed by a brisk scrubbing of the affected parts with good ol' fashioned lye soap and Listerene for purification purposes like the Good Lord requires.

      1. vtxmcrider

        She just closes her eyes and fantasizes about that old doctor who delivered her that she used to fuck.

  2. jus_wonderin

    When these guys say "Hey, I think I want to run for office. I think I want to be President." Does it EVER cross their mind that they needed to have actually walked the walk of all their talk? Zeeeeesus!!!

    Atleast I can say I am smart enough to know that I could never run for office. Maybe that is all it takes.

    1. flamingpdog

      If you're all that smart, you'd realize you could run for office as a Repoopliklan is you accepted Jeebus as your lord and savior. Free pass to all kinds of hypocrasy and foibles.

    2. Negropolis

      No, because Republicans know instinctively that their voters don't. care. about. hypocrisy. Period.

      It's really just that simple.

  3. Baconzgood

    “pain and suffering, which is the area I think we should cap.”
    So don't vote for Rick Santorum.

    (rim shot)

  4. SorosBot

    Now Santorum isn't a hypocrite; see he just wants limits on medical malpractice, for doctors, but didn't say anything about suits for injuries caused by fake doctor quacks like chiropractors.

    1. anniegetyerfun

      I was going to say that anyone who gets injured by a chiropractor kind of deserves it. But then I was, all, "How many Wonketteers treat their ailments purely through alcohol, like me? Maybe some of them see acupuncturists or something. Damn."

      1. jus_wonderin

        I went once but got this weird vibe. He wanted to touch me all over my body. Is that what he was supposed to do?

        1. anniegetyerfun

          No, they are supposed to be able to fix thing WITH THEIR MINDS.

          Oh, wait, that's a naturopath.

      2. DerrickWildcat

        Chiropractors only have to go to school for a week or so because there isn't much to know about a back. They don't have to learn about guts or eyes or other things like that.

      3. MissTaken

        I'm a huge fan of acupuncture (hey! I'm a whitey in SF, we have to get acupuncture by city statute) but no way in hell would I go to a chiropractor.

        1. SorosBot

          You don't want a placebo that consists of a guy twisting you back and neck in unnatural and possibly painful ways? But it sounds like a pleasant experience!

      4. SorosBot

        Really though, I guess it's not surprising that someone who thinks schools should teach children the Earth might be six thousand years old and that global warming is a conspiracy would seek treatment from a fake doctor who believes in magical cures by spine twisting.

        1. IceCreamEmpress

          Wait, what? Young Earth creationism is heresy by Vatican standards, and has been since the 1950s.

          Brother Guy Consolamagno needs to go Inquisition on Ol' Frothy's ass.

          1. Biel_ze_Bubba

            Hmm… how exactly does Frothbutt finesse this problem? He has to at least pretend to buy into the creationist crap, right?

      1. anniegetyerfun

        NEVAR FORGIT.

        I had a chiropractor in California many years ago (my dad is a neurologist, hates chiros, so I think I was rebelling in the only way that could really piss him off) and the guy got really mad because I was uncomfy with him twisting my head sideways to pop my neck. "DO YOU WANT ME TO HELP YOU OR NOT?"

        I voted "NOT".

      2. GOPCrusher

        Same here. Didn't screw anything up, but when he told me that I needed to come in 3 times a week for 12 weeks at 65 dollars a visit, my back pain wasn't that bad.

      1. Extemporanus

        Oh pshaw, Bar!

        That had you written all over it — I just got lucky and beat ya to it for once. ;)

  5. Lionel[redacted]Esq

    You see, the problem with the current legal system is that there is a chance that poor people might get a lot of money and end up clogging up the greens at the country club.

    The Republican Party is dedicated to seeing that this will not continue!

    1. flamingpdog

      Better than clogging up the greens with santorum, especially when the sprinkler system comes on.

  6. BornInATrailer

    All we need to complete this is recent footage of Mrs. Santorum dunking a basketball, preferably while visibly pregnant.

  7. BarackMyWorld

    I'm guessing between his daughter's poor health (on whom I wish absolutely no ill-will, and hope she gets better), the fact no one actually knows if he won Florida or not, and his inevitable terrible showing in tomorrow's Florida primary, Rick will probably drop out this week anyways.

          1. Designer_Rants

            You have to realize I'm a breathtakingly ignorant person, so when I read something interesting, I must Google to learn more! (the desire to learn is why I'm reading Wonkette and not TownHall)

    1. BarryOPotter

      "I gave the matter a quick east-to-west and having sized it up found it wanting of several crucial elements – primarily of my desire to be at all involved in it."
      –PG Wodehouse

    1. chicken_thief

      Yet to be seen – Republicans are still doubling down on the failed Reagan and Bush policies.

  8. Callyson

    Karen Santorum claimed that a Fairfax chiropractor had left her with a permanent back injury that probably would result in a lifetime of pain medication and restricted mobility.
    I thought it was her marriage to Rick that resulted in a lifetime of pain medication and restricted mobility…

  9. Huevos Ocupados

    Doctors, like hypocritical politicians and the rest of their rich brethren can do no wrong! When will you fucking plebs get it?

  10. jus_wonderin

    We should be considering the upside for the infirmed Ms. Santorum. She can get a mobility scooter free from the government.

  11. paris biltong

    Now, wait a second, what the Santorums sued for was denial of conjugal relations, which is the opposite of pain and suffering.

  12. BigDumbRedDog

    Shorter version: yet another republican has found yet another way to be an even bigger hypocrite. Blah, blah, blah.

  13. rickmaci

    Government of the select few people, paid for by the richest people, for all the other people, but not for themselves. Pretty much sums up the Rethugs philosophy of government. So much for Lincoln.

  14. owhatever

    I was wondering where I left those scissors. Now they are probably all rusted and useless. Damn.

  15. Maman

    If you don't get a chance to suffer from misfortune, how are you supposed to offer that suffering up to god. Rick, on the other hand, is already on god's team so his suffering is worth more than yours.

  16. V572 the Merciless

    Rick & family, here's a little secret about chiropractors: they don't know what they're doing, or why it works, or if it works. You can't really be surprised when things go bad while your spine is crackling. Thus speaketh Wik-uh-pedia:

    D.D. Palmer founded chiropractic in the 1890s, and his son B.J. Palmer helped to expand it in the early 20th century. It has two main groups: "straights", now the minority, emphasize vitalism, innate intelligence and spinal adjustments, and consider vertebral subluxations to be the cause of all disease; "mixers", the majority, are more open to mainstream views and conventional medical techniques, such as exercise, massage, and ice therapy.

    Straights and mixers — could it be any gayer?

  17. Baconzgood

    Can you sue an abortion Dr. for more than 250K and put him in the poor house if he botches said abortion and you have the baby? I just blew Rick's mind!

  18. Bonzos_Bed_Time

    "…probably would result in a lifetime of pain medication…"

    So the Mrs. is a D.C. pill-popper wife as well!

  19. Mumbletypeg

    "And my back like an ironwood bent by the wind/
    Blood veins blue as the coal"

    This would've been quite a tale if Ricky had experienced the back injury himself and sustained his own "coal tattoo" — given as he is to harkening back when dad & his generation worked the mines etc., etc.

    All due respect to those of you who've had to deal w/ severe, chronic back pain, but going to cash in on one's maladies to that degree isn't behooving any preachy parenting guru who regularly lambasts public schools; it wouldn't please anyone's coal-miner forebears who learned the hard way how to take it tough; and it definitely doesn't look Presidential.

  20. Tundra Grifter

    We know the GNoPee consisently tells us the Federal government is too big. Yet the reactionaries continue to push dumb ideas like "medical tort reform." To date, medical tort claims have been handled by state law.

    Some right wing nutz want health insurance companies to be able to sell policies across state lines. Off-the-Mark Levin is one of them. So this would require either a new Federal regulatory body, and a national insurance company fund, or the companies would flock to the states with the minimum regulation (like the credit card companies "moving" to South Dakota).

    The GNoPee pushed for passage of a "Defense of Marriage Act" – and a possible Constitutional amendment. Previously, states have regulated marriage.

    The conservatives pushed for Federal regulations for drivers' licenses. Previously, that was up to each state. But we can't have illegal immigrants with drivers' licences (and car insurance, by the way) so they wanted to move that to Federal government control.

    The reactionaries whine about the Kelo Decision – another states' rights victory.

    And I the only one who sees a pattern here?

  21. PsycWench

    Thumbs up for quoting "Coal Tattoo", a song that still gives me goosebumps. But Santorum would never be able to identify with

    "I stood for the union and walked in the line and fought against the company.
    I stood for the U. M. W. of A. Now, who's gonna stand for me?
    "

  22. beavertank

    Obviously all that extra money wasn't for "pain and suffering", it was for "discomfort and annoyance", which makes it ok.

  23. KeepFnThatChicken

    Karen Santorum claimed that a Fairfax chiropractor had left her with a permanent back injury that probably would result in a lifetime of pain medication and restricted mobility.

    Caveat emptor, lady. Or quit fucking that horn-dog husband of yours, and blowing children out of your nether regions.

  24. DaRooster

    Should we have a cap on psychotherapy payments for people that, well, let's say your parents brought home a dead baby and made you sit around and hold it?

    (As you can tell… this bugs me the most of this guy… it is not the only thing that bugs me.)

  25. YasserArraFeck

    I think being permanently out of your face on "pain medication" would be the only way one could stay married to RickyBoy

  26. SockBunny

    I'm not sure you even need a High School diploma to get a 'Certificate of Chiropratic Excellence or Whatever' so, as others are positing, how was the Santorum JesusLawsuit "medical" in any way? And if the Chiro DID NOT have a HS diploma, and was NOT married, wasn't s/he identifiable by the definition Santorums as unsuccessful?

      1. SockBunny

        wasn't s/he identifiable by the definition Santorums as unsuccessful?

        s/b

        wasn't s/he identifiable, by the Santorum's definition, as unsuccessful?

        Better now?

  27. Guppy

    "Karen Santorum claimed that a Fairfax chiropractor"

    OK, I'm losing track of what "alternative medicines" and the like Jesus is OK with. I figure acupuncture is too Taoist and yoga too Buddhist, but Catholic Jesus is a-OK with chiropractic?

    How about homeopathy? Being Catholic, the Santorum household is probably more comfortable with faith healing than Baptists.

    Does Rick consume GoatNutz(TM) to "restore male vitality?" How about good ol'-fashioned, all-American snake oil?

    1. Jukesgrrl

      Catholics are OK with all that stuff. Republicans, on the other hand, are only happy with the branches of feel-good that contribute to PACs. Somehow I can't imagine acupuncturists and yoga teachers contributing much to the GOP.

  28. Chet Kincaid

    An error above: Santorum's "Healthy Mothers and Healthy Babies Access to Care Act" proposed making rape legal in small quantities, and a misdemeanor in bulk.

  29. Bluestatelibel

    Does anyone else have the sneaking suspicion that this chiropractor didn't hurt Mrs. Santorum's back one bit, and that these two just cooked up this scheme to grab some cash? Just take a look at Santorum's "work history," and it sure seems like it to me.

  30. ttommyunger

    Don't know about her back, but somebody ought to pay for that face. I mean, that has to be the result of some major malfeasance or accident by somebody; something that grotesque isn't found in nature.

  31. Negropolis

    Why didn't she just pray away the pain? That's what they do, right?

    Apparently, her faith was not strong enough.

  32. CessnaDriver

    I am familiar with this case.

    It was a straight rip-off of a chiropractic malpractice carrier. The Santorums only went after the chiropractor when they found out that he had a million dollar malpractice policy.

    It's disputable that she had any actual damages, much less than $20K.

    If you check out chiropractic malpractice premiums, you'll find that they are quite low compared to other professionals.

  33. NYNYNYjr

    Rick: Karen Honey, your oxycontin addition is really expensive.
    Karen: Let's sue that chiropractor I used to go to. He never did any good for my back anyway.
    Rick: Ok, for what? $100,000?
    Karen: Better aim higher, the judge will just whittle it down later.

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