Like Countable?

Install the App
TRY NOW

house Bill H.R. 1215

Should Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Involving Federally Subsidized Care be Reformed?

Argument in favor

This bill would help bring down the cost of healthcare by reforming malpractice lawsuits related to care that was provided or subsidized by the federal government, which will lead to fewer unnecessary tests.

Ronald's Opinion
···
06/15/2017
Medical care that one can't pay for helps no one. We must get the blood sucking lawyers out of health care. The lawyers enrich themselves at our expense.
Like (35)
Follow
Share
Barcodeman's Opinion
···
06/14/2017
You want to lower healthcare costs, here is one BIG way.
Like (23)
Follow
Share
operaman's Opinion
···
06/27/2017
This question seems vague so one must read the total concept of this bill. What's that frequent statement? Yes, EQUAL PROTECTION from lawyers and ugly fine print. Lawyer don't care if taxpayers always end up paying the fee as long as they take their cut. Support equal protection. I also feel it's not broad enough.
Like (21)
Follow
Share

Argument opposed

This bill would make it harder for people who’ve been wronged by an instance of medical malpractice to have their day in court and receive compensation. This will lead to more misconduct in the future.

Craig's Opinion
···
06/12/2017
Republicans have lost their way on healthcare reform. What we need is single payer with universal coverage like every other civilized country in the world.
Like (290)
Follow
Share
Cass's Opinion
···
06/16/2017
Absolutely not! This sounds like an attack on the poor. We could resolve this by having single-payer healthcare like all the other western nations. The standard of care should be the same regardless of one's socioeconomic background.
Like (57)
Follow
Share
Craig's Opinion
···
06/27/2017
I think the focus should be on making service better, not making it harder to sue.
Like (48)
Follow
Share

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
  • The house Passed June 28th, 2017
    Roll Call Vote 218 Yea / 210 Nay
      house Committees
      Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties
      Committee on Energy and Commerce
      Health
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedFebruary 24th, 2017

Log in or create an account to see how your Reps voted!

What is House Bill H.R. 1215?

This bill would reform medical malpractice lawsuits where coverage for the care was provided or subsidized by the federal government, such as through a subsidy or tax benefit. It wouldn’t preempt certain state laws, or federal vaccine injury laws and rules.

The statute of limitations would be three years after the injury or one year after the claimant discovers the injury, whichever occurs first. For a minor, the statute of limitations would be three years after the injury except for minors under age six, in which case it’d be three years after the injury, one year after discovery of the injury, or the minor’s eighth birthday — whichever occurs later. These limitations could be “tolled” — basically pausing or delaying the statute of limitations — under certain circumstances.

Noneconomic damages — paid out for things like permanent disability or physical pain and suffering as opposed to medical bills (which are economic damages) — would be capped at $250,000. Juries couldn’t be informed of this limitation. Parties would be liable for the amount of damages that are directly proportional to their responsibility. These provisions don’t preempt state laws that specify a particular amount of monetary damages. Courts would be required to supervise the payment of damages and could restrict attorney contingency fees, which would be limited by the bill.

Evidence concerning insurance payments and related benefits may be introduced in lawsuits involving injury or wrongful death. Insurance providers would be restricted from recovering any amount from the claimant in such a lawsuit. These provisions don’t apply if Medicare is a secondary payer or there is third party liability for Medicaid services.

A healthcare provider who prescribes or dispenses prescriptions a medical product approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may not be party to a product liability lawsuit or a class action lawsuit regarding the medical product.

Impact

Claimants in medical malpractice suits involving federally provided or subsidized healthcare; healthcare providers; courts; and the federal government.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1215

The CBO estimates that enacting this bill would reduce deficits by almost $50 billion over the 2017-2027 period.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Steve King (R-IA) introduced this bill to reform medical malpractice lawsuits involving federally subsidized healthcare:

“Nationwide, physicians estimate that 35 percent of diagnostic tests they ordered were to avoid lawsuits, as were 19 percent of hospitalizations, 14 percent of prescriptions, and eight percent of surgeries. All told it adds up to $650 billion in unnecessary care every year… A more recent study, published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology studied the effects of tort reform on just radiographic tests alone and found that there were 2.4 to 2.7 million fewer radiographic tests annually attributed to tort reforms... Just imagine what savings would occur if such reforms were attached to all federal healthcare programs as this bill would do.”

The Trump administration released a statement in support of this bill, saying that these policies would "generate savings" for patients and the federal government by reducing unnecessary medical services performed by doctors afraid of getting sued. 

Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee opposed this bill in its committee report, saying that it undermines the goals of adequate and affordable health insurance coverage for all Americans by heightening the risks of harm to patients and consumers of medical products:

“It does this by significantly undermining their ability to pursue a case in court and by imposing various restrictions on victims’ ability to be fully compensated for their injuries, making it harder to hold wrongdoers accountable and to deter future misconduct. Additionally, the bill represents a deep intrusion into state sovereignty as state legislatures and state courts traditionally set the rules governing tort liability.”

This legislation was passed by the House Judiciary Committee on a 18-17 vote, and has the support of three Republican cosponsors in the House

 

Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: Pixabay / Public Domain)

AKA

Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017

Official Title

To improve patient access to health care services and provide improved medical care by reducing the excessive burden the liability system places on the health care delivery system.

    Medical care that one can't pay for helps no one. We must get the blood sucking lawyers out of health care. The lawyers enrich themselves at our expense.
    Like (35)
    Follow
    Share
    Republicans have lost their way on healthcare reform. What we need is single payer with universal coverage like every other civilized country in the world.
    Like (290)
    Follow
    Share
    Absolutely not! This sounds like an attack on the poor. We could resolve this by having single-payer healthcare like all the other western nations. The standard of care should be the same regardless of one's socioeconomic background.
    Like (57)
    Follow
    Share
    I think the focus should be on making service better, not making it harder to sue.
    Like (48)
    Follow
    Share
    Typical Conservative BS to take the rights to sue and recover damages from the average citizen... Pure Conservative BS... VOTE NO...
    Like (32)
    Follow
    Share
    If a surgeon injured you into a quadriplegic state, and you would require care for the rest of your life, would $250,000 cover it? The answer, of course is no. So your vote is NO. The award must fit the injury, pain, and suffering.
    Like (25)
    Follow
    Share
    You want to lower healthcare costs, here is one BIG way.
    Like (23)
    Follow
    Share
    This question seems vague so one must read the total concept of this bill. What's that frequent statement? Yes, EQUAL PROTECTION from lawyers and ugly fine print. Lawyer don't care if taxpayers always end up paying the fee as long as they take their cut. Support equal protection. I also feel it's not broad enough.
    Like (21)
    Follow
    Share
    Just another way to screw poor people
    Like (19)
    Follow
    Share
    It's already too easy for doctors guilty of malpractice to quite literally get away with murder. There is no reason every doctor should not be subject to the same scrutiny.
    Like (16)
    Follow
    Share
    Single payer!
    Like (15)
    Follow
    Share
    Accountability is necessary no matter who's paying the bill.
    Like (12)
    Follow
    Share
    Medical malpractice reform did nothing to bring down the cost of care in Texas. This is a scam.
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    The entire malpractice system needs reformation. Some are entitled to financial compensation, but there should be limits on the awards.
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    As someone in the healthcare industry it is insane how much money we spend on useless healthcare "defensive medicine" because we are concerned about being sued. Additionally, it costs a lot of money to get the education required to be in the healthcare field and people dramatically overestimate how much people in the field make especially when you count the education cost which many have to pay back for decades.
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    Malpractice is a state issue. Holding healthcare providers accountable and compensating people harmed are important goals. This would undermine those goals.
    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
    This is another classic Steve King bill. It is yet another assault on the lives of the poor, another attempt to undermining their value. Essentially this bill says if you need federal assistance then you aren't entitled to the same protections under the law as those who don't. This is legislating a wider gap between the "have" and the "have-nots". What a thoroughly awful bill! The way to lower the deficit is to put an end to corporate welfare and tax cuts for the rich and the uncontrolled spending currently propping up the military industrial complex and the rising private prison industry. But Steve King and his ilk will never propose any of this. Instead they will just continue to attack the poor. Do not support this bill!
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    Medical malpractice needs to be reformed! Period! 98% of physicians are in the practice to help people cope with life's crap! Medicine is NOT an exact science! You have a choice! If you don't like the outcome, pretty much you were given the odds prior to signing on the line! Life IS a death sentence and we tend to forget that!
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    Under this congress, I trust what they mean by unnecessary. If someone has been wronged, they deserve compensation.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    This is grotesque.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    MORE