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Anyone see John Stossel's "give me a break" segment on 20/20 Friday night? If not, you missed a pretty good story about how trial lawyers have added so much cost to our system without necessarily deriving any benefits for such.

He singled out John Edwards and that (in part) because of his successful lawsuits against obstetricians, who delivered babies with cerebral palsy, that more C-sections are performed. In fact, almost 26% of babies, versus just 6% before Edwards efforts, of all babies are now delivered via C-section. Edwards made the case that cerebral palsy can be caused by a fragile baby's head passing through the tight spaces in the birth canal, hence the need for a C-section.

C-sections are more costly, of course, for the patient and their insurance companies. Ironically, the doctors also make more money by performing them. The patient, OTOH, not only has a longer recovery period and enhanced (5 times?) risk of other complications due to the procedure, but has a lifelong visible scar.

One may say that this is a small price to pay for the (potentially) better health of the newborn child, but the punchline is that there has been NO reduction in the cerebral palsy rate given the 4 fold increase in C-section deliveries!

Stossel, therefore, accuses Edwards and other trial lawyers of "junk science" and adding unnecessary costs to our healthcare system.

This, itself, is enough to tell. But, the "rest of the story" is that upon the completion of the airing of his segment, and Stossel's standard uttering of his catch phrase "give me a break", Barbara Walters felt compelled to add a disclaimer saying that John's views do not reflect hers, those of the show, or ABC. I always try to catch this segment and I have NEVER seen Ms. Walters do this before. Could it be that it's an election year and the Kerry-Edwards ticket is the one she & ABC want to win? Obviously;-)
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