The federal med mal bill being considered by the House Judiciary Committee was (at least temporarily) derailed, surprisingly, because of the opposition of Republican committee members. As reported by The Hill, "The House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday abruptly postponed a markup on a medical tort reform bill after outbursts of criticism from several of the panel's conservatives. In a rare display of discord on a GOP-led medical malpractice bill, Texas GOP Reps. Ted Poe and Louie Gohmert opposed a bill from fellow Republicans because they said it would violate states' rights." Go here for the full story.
This is a good result. The bill was awful. It would have federalized what should be clearly state common law, and it would have had the effect of limiting, if not elimintating, access to legal representation to the most vulnerable types of victims, low wage earners, the elderly, children, and women.
A few days ago, the ABA sent a letter to the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee expressing its opposition to the bill. It has a good explanation of the issues and the reasons the bill should never become law. You can read the letter here.
In the end, the bill is just another illustration of how any bill that claims to encourage "tort reform" is in reality an attempt to do one of three things (or all three): (1) to prevent injured parties from recovering from their injuries, or (2) it they must be allowed to try to recover, to make it more difficult for them to be able recover, or (3) if they can recover, to make sure they can recover as little compensation as possible.
That's it. That's tort reform. That is what this federal bill is after. And that is why it should never be allowed to become the law of the land.