The trial lawyers won't give it up with out a fight.
At issue is Gov. Cuomo's Medicaid Redesign Team, which has proposed a diet for New York's well-fed tort bar. The lawyers have enlisted a front, the grotesquely mislabeled Center for Justice & Democracy, to file an ethics complaint with the state Public Integrity Commission, charging members of the Medicaid team with conflicts of interest. Fronting for the CJD is agitprop filmmaker Michael Moore and lefty icon Erin Brockovich -- the latter a shill for tort-law kings Weitz & Luxenberg, which also employs Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Cuomo's team wants to cap non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases -- i.e. "pain and suffering" -- at $250,000 and set up an indemnity fund for brain-damaged babies, which could save New Yorkers $700 million. That would come right from the tort-lawyers' deep pockets. The CJD claims the Medicaid team is actually an official board whose members are covered by the state's public-officers law. Which means that the four hospital-affiliated members whose industry stands to save money under tort reform shouldn't have been allowed to serve. What nonsense. The whole point of the team was to get people from across the health-care spectrum to speak to their particular needs. Certainly, the CJD saw no ethics problem when it was part of then-Gov. Eliot Spitzer's Medical Malpractice Liability Taskforce four years ago. But real reform was never on the table back then. Now it is -- hence the blowback from the ambulance-chasers.