Thursday, September 24, 2009

Why Obama Won't Support Medical Malpractice Reform

Mark Tapscott writes an editorial yesterday in The Washington Examiner, reviewing the book Architects of Ruin.

The book discusses how the financial crisis was caused by a weakening of common sense, not by deregulation. Banks were pushed to provide loans to people who couldn't afford them so that the numbers of home owners could be pushed up.

I have already recounted the role the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and ACORN had in this mess. Tapscott ties Obama into this as well.

He recalls a long-forgotten class-action lawsuit filed in 1994 by three young trial lawyers, one of whom just happens to be sitting in the Oval Office today as president. The case was Selma S. Buycks-Roberson v. Citibank Federal Savings Bank.

Obama and his colleagues claimed in the suit that Citibank had had rejected loan applications by the plaintiffs simply because they were black, or because they lived in predominantly black neighborhoods. In short, the suit was one of thousands filed during the 1990s claiming racial bigotry, not poor credit histories, explained high rejection rates among minorities applying for mortgages.

Tapscott continues:

Whatever you think on that issue, here's what struck me: After four years of haggling, Citibank settled with Buyck, a Chicago woman, out of court. She received $60,000. Obama and the other lawyers on the plaintiff side got $950,000.

Such outcomes help put in perspective why the class-action trial lawyers spend millions of dollars every year lobbying Congress and state governments either to protect the lucrative turf they already have, or to create profitable new lines of litigation.

You can find the editorial here.

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