FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (10/9/04)

Contact: Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., President
             American Pain Institute (API)
             662-247-1471    662-247-3364
             e-mail: MyersFound@aol.com
             web sites: www.AmericanPainInstitute.org
                             www.MyersFoundation.net
                            

TORT REFORM DISCRIMINATES AGAINST POOR & CHRONIC PAIN PATIENTS

MISSISSIPPI BLACK PHYSICIAN VICTIM OF A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE LYNCHING

STATE REPRESENTATIVE PERKINS CALLS FOR INVESTIGATION OF MEDICAL ASSURANCE COMPANY OF MISSISSIPPI


(Tchula, Mississippi) - For over 16 years Baptist Medical Missionary and Family Practitioner, Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., has been faithfully and sacrificially serving the medical needs of families in the poorest region in America, the Mississippi Delta. Now, Rev., Dr. Myers must began closing his Christian Family Health Centers because the state's only malpractice insurance company, the Medical Assurance Company of Mississippi (MACM), refuses to renew his medical malpractice insurance policy.

According to a recent article in the Jackson, Mississippi based newspaper, the Jackson Advocate, "As a result of Mississippi's new controversial tort reform legislation, MACM has been given sole discretion in providing malpractice insurance to doctors, establishing what some characterize as 'a virtual monopoly on malpractice coverage.'"

Myers, an African-American physician, who has never been sued for malpractice in his family practice health centers, feels that insurance company greed, racism and discrimination against chronic pain patients are the motives behind MACM's actions.

"MACM's all white physician Board of Directors, including Dr. J. Edward Hill, President-Elect of the American Medical Association (AMA), has made it clear that they do not want me to treat poor chronic pain patients," states Rev., Dr. Myers. "I am a victim of a 'medical malpractice lynching' for being a compassionate and caring physician throughout the state of Mississippi."

State Representative Willie J. Perkins (D-Greenwood), a member of the Select Committee on Malpractice Insurance, in a recent letter to both Co-Chairs of the committee, Rep. Edward Blackmon, Jr. (D-Canton) and Rep. Steve Holland (D-Plantersville), hopes that Myers critical testimony concerning tort reform before the committee earlier this year did not play a role in MACM's decision and has requested an investigation:

"According to Dr. Myers, he has practiced medicine for 16 years in the Mississippi Delta without any incident of a medical malpractice judgment, that he has a clean and clear medical record. Unless I am somewhat confused, it appears this he would be the "poster boy" for the type of doctors MACM or any insurance company would desire to extend insurance coverage. I trust Dr. Myers testimony at our hearing played no role in MACM's decision. Also, I trust that our committee will explore and investigate this and other similar matters."

Myers feels that insurance company greed is the real motivation behind tort reform. "The bottom line is that Mississippi's tort reform legislation and other special legislation afforded MACM by the state legislature gave MACM license to abuse and discriminate against the poor and disenfranchised," states Rev., Dr. Myers. "MACM is practicing 'medical malpractice social engineering', 'medical malpractice redlining' and 'medical malpractice racism' by not renewing the malpractice insurance policies of physicians who practice in communities with large African-American, poor and chronic pain patient populations. This is morally reprehensible and unconscionable. I will be forced to close my health centers in some of America's poorest counties because of MACM's action."

Rev., Dr. Myers has committed himself to battle this injustice and is praying for a moral outcry from across America. "Please do not let greed win over need," states Rev., Dr. Myers. "We need to reform tort reform in America because the poor, chronic pain patients and the disenfranchised need healthcare too."

To offer support and assistance, contact Dr. Myers at 662-247-1471 or 662-247-3364; e-mail: MyersFound@aol.com; web sites www.AmericanPainInstitute.org or www.MyersFoundation.net.

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Dear Friends and Supporters:

Thank you for all your phone calls, e-mails and letters concerning our atrocious and morally reprehensible medical malpractice plight in Mississippi that was covered in the revealing Jackson Advocate Newspaper story:

STATE TRYING TO STOP LOCAL DOCTOR'S MEDICAL MINISTRY
http://www.americanpaininstitute.org/newsI.htm


Many of you have asked me, "What can I do to help?"

Let me suggest the following:

- Please pray for our medical ministry

- Please write, call, fax, e-mail the Governor of Mississippi and the following key members of the Mississippi Legislature. The Select Committee on Medical Malpractice Insurance will be investigating the Medical Assurance Company of Mississippi (MACM) and their non-renewal of my malpractice insurance policy.

- Please speak out publicly and let the American Medical Association (AMA) know of your concerns about the actions of Dr. J. Edward Hill, President-Elect of the AMA and Board Member of MACM, to shut down our medical ministry to the poor. WE NEED A STRONG PUBLIC OUTCRY ACROSS AMERICA! HOW CAN MEMBERS OF THE AMA CONDONE THE UNJUST ACTIONS OF THEIR OWN LEADERSHIP!

- Please voice your concern to your members of congress and state legislators about how the insurance industry, that is advocating for tort reform because the high cost of medical malpractice insurance is forcing doctors out of business, is now forcing physicians who treat the poor and disenfranchised out of business because of greed. AGAIN, A STRONG PUBLIC OUTCRY IN DEFENSE OF PHYSICIANS, LIKE DR. MYERS, WHO TREAT PAIN PATIENTS AND THE POOREST PEOPLE IN AMERICA IS NEEDED!

PLEASE DON'T LET GREED WIN OVER NEED! POOR PEOPLE AND PAIN PATIENTS NEED HEALTHCARE TOO!

- Please make a DONATION to the Myers Foundation:
http://www.myersfoundation.net/donations/index.html



Governor Haley Barbour
State of Mississippi
P.O. Box 139
Jackson, MS 39205
601-359-3150    601-359-3741 Fax

George Dale
Insurance Commissioner
State of Mississippi
P.O. Box 79
Jackson, MS 39205
601-359-3569    601-359-2474 Fax
www.doi.state.ms.us

Rep. Edward Blackmon, Jr.
Co-Chairperson
Select Committee on Medical Malpractice Insurance
P.O. Drawer 105
Canton, MS 39046-0105
601-859-1567
eblackmon@mail.house.state.ms.us

Rep. Steve Holland
Co-Chairperson
Select Committee on Medical Malpractice Insurance
P.O. Box 2
Plantersville, MS 38862-0002
662-844-2004

State Senator Willie Simmons
P.O. Box 297
Cleveland, MS 39732
662-846-7433
wsimmons@mail.senate.state.ms.us

State Senator David Jordan
P.O. Box 8173
Greenwood, MS 38930
662-453-2246
djordan@mail.senate.state.ms.us

Dr. J. Edward Hill, President-Elect
American Medical Association
515 N. State Street
Chicago, IL 60610
800-621-8335
http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/1891.html

Medical Assurance Company of Mississippi
404 W. Parkway Place
Ridgeland, MS 39157
601-605-4882
http://www.macm.net/ad_bod.htm

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