nos-trum. pronunciation: \nos'-trum\. noun. Etymology: Latin, neuter of noster our, ours.
1. a medicine of secret composition recommended by its preparer but usually without scientific proof of its effectiveness.
2. a usually questionable remedy or scheme.
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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Jury Says No To Hospitals Who Sue Tobacco Companies For Unpaid Bills By Uninsured

These hospitals get the Nice Try Award for trying to shift the burden of uninsured care.

It's funny that I had to read about this court case in the British news (BBC News, 30 Apr).  It's not prominently covered here yet.

37 hospitals in Missouri decided they were taking it in the shorts, financially speaking, by taking care of uninsured people with illnesses related to tobacco use.  Since they can't turn them away by law, the hospitals have a lot of unpaid bills for emergency treatment and hospitalizations.

As I say, nice try.

At some point in this country we have to make people responsible for their harmful behavior.  We're long past the point where the individuals with smoking-related illness can claim they were misled.

We're so long past that point...actually it's been about 200 years that we've known that tobacco can kill you, in a number of ways...that I think the big tobacco award some decades ago was a wrong judgment.

If you recall, people claimed that the tobacco companies assured them that cigarettes were not harmful.

Yeah, and if I told you that Chevrolet's were safe and Ford's were unsafe would you believe that, too?

In any case, those folks who sued for damages, and were able to profit from ignoring common sense, have probably all died.  Good on them for being smart enough to have their cake and eat it, too.

So, in 2011, it's a little late to be blaming tobacco companies for unwise choices by individuals.

And the jury agreed.  Plus, when they looked at the balance sheets for those hospitals, they found that there was no hardship incurred, as the hospitals had claimed.

Sorry, no $455 million award.

But, I'm still in awe of the gall it took to try.

Doc D

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