Opinion

KEMPAC: AMNews readers were misled on Senate candidate Dr. Mongiardo

LETTER — Posted Nov. 1, 2004

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

The Oct. 11 AMNews (see article) portrayed F. Daniel Mongiardo, MD, a state senator from Kentucky and candidate for the U.S. Senate, as a physician inspired to run for office by politicians who aren't addressing the nation's health care woes. Unfortunately, his performance as a state legislator has done nothing to address Kentucky's health care problems, but a lot to keep plaintiffs attorneys in business.

Dr. Mongiardo won a state senate seat in 2000, largely with physician support. In 2003, Dr. Mongiardo cast a "pass" vote on a proposed constitutional amendment for medical liability reform, which had the same effect as a "no" vote. He did so about the same time AMA identified Kentucky as a state in crisis.

Justifying his lack of support, he claimed "caps on jury awards don't work," even though the bill, if passed, wouldn't have established a cap. It would have only allowed the people of Kentucky to vote on whether the General Assembly should have the authority to consider MICRA-type reforms.

A month later, Dr. Mongiardo publicly resigned his brief Kentucky Medical Association membership through a letter to the editor of the state's second-largest daily newspaper. In that letter, he condemned physician members of the KMA, its leadership and staff for their liability reform efforts.

Leading up to the 2004 legislative session, Dr. Mongiardo continued to claim, "Caps don't work" but he added, "medical errors are the root cause of the liability insurance crisis." Reflecting the position of the Kentucky Academy of Trial Attorneys, Dr. Mongiardo testified before legislative committees, appeared on television programs, participated on radio talk shows and conducted a traveling presentation about the impact of medical errors.

In the 2004 session, Dr. Mongiardo voted "no" on a proposal to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot. In doing so, he denied Kentucky voters a voice in this important issue, even though the state's largest newspaper conducted a poll that revealed 68% of Kentuckians support caps on damages in medical malpractice cases.

Dr. Mongiardo, in his interview with AMNews, was quoted as saying, "One of the problems in politics today is that politicians don't listen to the voters, to their constituents." Yet he has worked to defeat efforts to enact measures his constituents clearly support.

Few physicians outside of Kentucky are familiar with Dr. Mongiardo, whose U.S. Senate campaign is substantially financed by trial attorneys. It is important that the physicians of this country aren't misled on Dr. Mongiardo.

Andrew R. Pulito, MD, past chair, current board member, KEMPAC, Kentucky Educational Medical Political Action Committee

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2004/11/01/edlt1101.htm.

Back to top


ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISE HERE


Featured
Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story


Read story

Goodbye

American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story


Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story


Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story


Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story


Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story


Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story


Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn