EDITOR'S NOTE: For the past year, Kandit News Group has been advocating alongside David Lubofsky for the Guam Legislature to repeal the antiquated Medical Malpractice Mandatory Arbitration (MMMA) Act. Mr. Lubofsky lost his son, Asher Dean, to medical malpractice on October 31, 2018 at the Guam Memorial Hospital. In December 2019, Speaker Tina Muna Barnes introduced legislation authored by doctors that feigns reform of the MMMA, but does nothing meaningful to repeal the provisions of the law that price the poor and middle class out of seeking justice for medical malpractice. Other senators have expressed their support for repeal; however the majority of senators have remained quiet about the issue. Kandit investigated the campaign contributions received by the 15 members of the Legislature during the 2018 campaign to see if money talks, and BS walks.
By Jacob Nakamura
(Tumon, Guam) Sen. Louise Borja Muna received a sizable portion of her campaign contributions from the medical industry, has yet to take a position on the issue of repealing Guam's antiquated and due-process-killing Medical Malpractice Mandatory Arbitration (MMMA) Act.
Ms. Muna reported that she received $2,600 in political contributions from doctors, clinics, and a pharmacy in 2018 during fundraisers held for her bids for advancement in the Primary Election and her election in November that year.
Dr. Michael Cruz, the Chief Executive Officer of the Guam Regional Medical City, donated $100 to Ms. Muna's campaign. GRMC is a party to at least two active lawsuits for medical malpractice that simultaneously challenges the MMMA as an unconstitutional violation of due process.
Guam Medical Imaging donated $500.
Pacific Urology Consultants donated $500.
Pacific Cardiology Consultants donated $500.
MedPharm donated $500.
Guam XRay donated $500.
The political activism of Guam's medical industry is suspected to play a part in the protection of doctors from liability through public policy favorable to doctors and other medical professionals and businesses.
The most flagrant example of this protectionist stance that Kandit has reported thus far is the formulation of Speaker Tina Muna Barnes's Bill No. 248-35, which placated doctors and was written by doctors while pretending to provide greater access to claimants against malpractice.