Monday, June 21, 2010

Big Law and Big Insurance

Big law often sues big insurance for big bucks.

Apparently, these big lawsuits have many convinced that big law is there to protect the little people from the abuses of big insurance.

Such thoughts are a big mistake.

A better way to understand this system is to follow the big money.

When there is a big lawsuit with a big claim, a big money moves from big insurance to big law. Big insurance then runs back to the small business and exclaims: "Did you see that big lawsuit? We have to raise your premiums."

In this system, big law gets bigger. Big insurance gets bigger, and small business gets smaller.

There is a symbiotic relation between big insurance and big law.

From the perspective of big law, insurance is manna from heaven. It turns out that, since people are silly emotional creatures, it is really easy to win a big lawsuit.

The difficulties lie in collecting money. It is difficult to collect money from people who don't want to pay up.

Let's say a baby dies during a difficult birth. An empathetic judge and jury will want to award the grieving parents something. No parent should lose a child!

An expensive haired lawyer putting on a good show will jerk tears from the jury and win big bucks in the settlement.

The lawsuit is easy. The problem is that obstetricians don't like paying up. Even worse, people really like baby doctors and will side with the doctor when it comes time to pay.

Big insurance changes this equation. They have big pockets and are happy to pay the settlement as they are able to charge the settlement back through to all doctors.

So, by playing the submissive whipping boy, big insurance creates a mechanism that allows big law to collect the big money (keeping a percent for their efforts).

The final character in the big money show is big politics. Big politics takes money from big insurance and big law. In return, big law passes regulations designed to keep the pot stirring.

And so the symbiotic relation between big law, big insurance and big politics creates a mechanism that brings immense wealth to the few, while impoverishing the many.

No comments: