All physicians and patients in Louisiana should rejoice that John Cooksey lived because he had the solution to the medical liability insurance crisis of 1975 that threatened availability of care for patients. Not only did he have a solution, but he put together a team that overcame formidable opponents, including the plaintiff trial lawyers and initially, the Louisiana State Medical Society. As a result of the successful passage of the new law, Act 817 of 1975, the medical liability crisis subsided. The law was enhanced in 1984 with unlimited future medical payments as incurred. When the insurance companies were too slow to lower medical liability insurance rates, the Louisiana State Medical Society gave birth to Louisiana Medical Mutual Insurance Company (LAMMICO). Such an exciting time to participate in Louisiana advocacy and politics.
The Louisiana State Medical Society (LSMS) published two articles I wrote about John that gave insider information of the events of the passage of the medical liability law in 1975, one article on the 20th anniversary of the law’s passage and the other on the 40th anniversary. Get the articles at the LSMS Facebook site here or you can write me directly for a copy at DJP@donaldpalmisano.com.
John was a flight surgeon veteran of the Vietnam War and a U.S. Congressman for three terms as he kept his promise to serve only three terms. In 1999, he was LSU Medical School Alumnus of the Year. He recently retired from his ophthalmology practice in Monroe, Louisiana. His patients loved him. John always had a smile when you visited. You felt better when you departed.
If you wanted hashtags for John on social media, you would do well with #Hero #Courage #Kindness.
Sincere condolences to his family and all who loved John.