After a couple of false starts, H.R. 1215, the Protecting Access to Care Act is going to the House floor this week. This massive medical malpractice bill also applies to nursing homes and drug and device cases.
American Bar Association, with more than 400,000 members, penned a letter to the House Judiciary Committee expressing opposition to HR 1215–the so-called “Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017.”
The arguments behind tort reform are lies. Tort reform was dreamed up by insurance companies as a way to avoid accountability to their own customers. A recent study shows paid medical malpractice claims are decreasing, not increasing. Medical malpractice lawsuits contribute at most 2-3% to the cost of healthcare.
HR 1215 has nothing to do with helping people and everything to do with helping negligent doctors and insurance companies avoid accountability by:
•Limiting all non-economic damages to $250,000, regardless of the severity of the injury;
•Making all claims federal claims, thus preempting states’ rights; and
•Limiting the amount the victim’s attorney can be paid, with no limitation on the amount the doctor or his/her insurer can pay their lawyer.
The $250,000 cap will apply to all health care liability lawsuits, including nursing homes. The bill applies these limits regardless of the number of parties, the causes of action, or the theory of liability, so the cap applies to intentional torts or other sorts of reckless misconduct. In other words, a family of 5 who lost a parent would have to split $250,000–when you consider most medical malpractice lawsuits cost around $150,000 to pursue, that leaves very little for a heart-broken family.
The bill will not get better during the floor debate. The only amendments that will be allowed are amendments that make the bill worse for patients. The debate on this bill will begin on Tuesday with a vote on the final passage scheduled for Wednesday.
Please take a stand and protect your rights. Either visit Take Justice Back or contact your representative directly and tell them that victims of medical malpractice should not be further victimized. Tell them to vote NO on HR 1215.
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