WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform commends last night’s 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.
“Last night’s action by the Energy and Commerce Committee is a good step toward meaningful medical liability reform,” said Lisa Rickard, president of the Institute for Legal 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,” Rickard said. “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,” she concluded.
ILR seeks to promote civil justice reform through legislative, political, judicial, and educational activities at the national, state, and local levels.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.