06252018Headline:

Fairbanks, Alaska

HomeAlaskaFairbanks

Email Ward Merdes
Ward Merdes
Ward Merdes
Attorney • (866) 452-3741

Alaska Republicans: Poor People Worth Less Than Rich People…

Comments Off

Alaska’s House/Senate and the Governor’s mansion have been occupied by a Republican majority for more than decade. A few years ago, they decided that, in the name of “accountability” – Poor Folks are Worth Less than Rich Folks.” This one must be changed…

At the urging of the national automobile insurance companies and the Chamber of Commerce, Alaskan Republicans decided that people who are uninsured when they get smeared by another person’s bad driving – should get less. In other words, if you can’t afford insurance (READ: You’re poor) and you get run over by a negligent jackass, your right to being compensate for your injuries is cut by more thn 50% in Alaska. The good news is that most Rich Folks (READ: Republicans) can still bring all of their claims. They lost nothing. Whew. That was close…

Alaska’s Republicans passed Statute 09.65.320 is entitled: “Nonrecovery for damages for noneconomic losses resulting from operating a motor vehicle while uninsured.” It severely limits claims that may be brought by an uninsured person – poor person -when he/she is hurt in an automobile wreck. In short, poor folks are not allowed to be paid compensated for a lifetime of pain and disability.

Ironically, just who do you think will pay to take care of a poor person (READ: Uninsured) who is badly hurt in a car wreck? Do you think the negligent person’s insurance company, or the good old Chamber of Commerce will volunteer additional taxes to cover the horrendous losses – losses that arise equally for injuries to poor, as well as rich, folks? Or, do you think that you and I will again have to pick up the tab on this onel? Hmmmm.

Alaska’s Republican House/Senate majorities, and former Governor Murkowski, were duped (I’m being nice here … the other implications are malevolence or general stupidity) by the insurance industry. Now, the Good Hands people, and those who insure “Like a Good Neighbor” – can smile all the way to the bank, knowing that our Republican Legislature made it nearly impossible for a poor person to be treated fairly. The insurance industry gets to: (1) collect their premiums; and (2) pay less than half to most of the population. What a deal. Thanks Republicans.

This latest little trick reminds me of the time our same Legislature decided to limit claims against doctors. They called it malpractice or “tort reform.” They needed to “protect doctors from lawsuits.” Get a load of this one… In the name of Conservative/Republican values “responsibility and accountability,” the Republicans made Alaskan doctors virtually immune to lawsuits when they negligently maim/kill poor Alaskans.

Think about this one for a moment. Aren’t doctors … the folks who hold our lives in their hands … exactly the folks we want held 100% responsible/accountable when they are negligent? Don’t we want them to be as sharp as possible – and as accountable as possible? Come on… we know what happens when you make folks (doctors) less accountable, don’t we. It’s like when you remove police from the streets … do you think folks will drive slower and more carefully? Not a chance. Without accountability, folks drive fast, and doctors take risks, with our lives.

Republicans are supposed to understand social utility and motiviation. Do they think that a doctor’s motivated self-interest is to continue attending cutting-edge (and expensive) medical educational seminars … or do you think their lack of accountability is a good reason to play more golf? Hmmmmm.

I love my doctor. He’s a genuine and decent man for whom I want success. I also want him scared to death of being sued, should he screw up and hurt me. I want him to know that the law holds him 100% accountable if he should drop the ball. It’s my life. I want the best care possible. I want 100% accountable medical care. Don’t you?

Thanks Alaska Republicans. Good work for the insurance companies. You handed the working man another beating at the hands of big money.

Fix it.

Now.

For more information on this subject, please refer to the section on Car and Motorcycle Accidents.