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News
May 12, 2011

House Committee Takes Step Toward Meaningful Medical Liability Reform

The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform commends the approval of comprehensive medical liability reform legislation by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.  Among other provisions, the bill would impose a cap on non-economic damages, restrict attorneys’ fees, and set a new statute of limitations on liability claims.

This action by the Energy and Commerce Committee is a good step toward meaningful medical liability reform.  At a time of rapidly increasing health care costs, the current medical liability system imposes major expenses on patients, health care providers, and taxpayers.

The legislation – H.R. 5, the Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act – was marked up and approved by the Committee by a vote of 30-20 and now goes to the full House of Representatives for consideration.

The current medical liability system encourages the practice of defensive medicine.  When doctors are forced to perform defensive medicine because of lawsuit fears, the quality of health care suffers and billions of dollars are added to our nation’s health care costs.

We urge the full House to promptly pass the HEALTH Act and advance the legislation to the Senate.

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