On Nov. 2, Seattle neurosurgeon and lifelong Democratic supporter Steve Klein will do something he has never done before: Vote Republican. He’s not driven by terrorism, taxes, or even the cost of health care. “I’ve never pulled the lever for a Republican candidate in my life,” Klein says. “But this time, I’m voting for who will vote for reform.”
That would be President George W. Bush. Klein is going against Democrat John Kerry because he’s hopping mad about “lawsuit abuse” that has jacked up the cost of medical malpractice premiums and forced some physicians to flee states where rates are particularly onerous.
As the race for the White House shifts into high gear, Republicans and their business allies are aiming to win over some Democrats by demonizing trial lawyers as litigious leeches who hurt average consumers as well as corporations and doctors.