Now that Republicans control the Senate, the House and the White House, it is not surprising to hear about new efforts to interfere with the rights of injured plaintiffs in the name of tort reform. Recently, the House Judiciary Committee approved legislation capping damages in medical malpractice cases. The vote was 18-17. The federal legislation would cover individuals who are insured under Medicare, Medicaid, veterans or military health plans, and the Affordable Care Act, and could also impact people covered under COBRA or health savings plans.
Given that medical errors is now the third leading cause of deaths in the US, this is very important stuff.
The bill is based on the false premises and allegations that have been proven wrong time and time again, but that continue to be used in support of attempts to make it more difficult for injured victims to be able to recover for their injuries. Some of these myths include the allegation that litigation costs result in more expensive services and higher insurance costs. For a lot of information on these types of allegations and the studies that refute them you can go to the medical malpractice and tort reform sections of this blog and scroll down. For a short critique of the house bill go here.
For more information about this and other attempts to push “tort reform” bills through the
Republican-led Congress which seek to limit the rights of victims while protecting large corporations and insurance companies go to AboutLawsuits.