The American Association for Justice has spoken out about the constant struggle for health care reform. Currently the House of Representatives is debating whether or not to vote on the Senate passed health care bill. This means that if the House has a majority vote the Senate bill will become a law. The current version of the Senate bill allows for demonstration projects, but provides an absolute opt out clause for plaintiffs at any time. The AAJ finds demonstration objectionable but believes that the opt-out provision for all plaintiffs minimizes their concern.
In a recent letter to Congress, the President signaled openness to appropriating $50 million for additional medical malpractice projects, which would include health courts. This blog recently spoke to the dangers of implementing health courts. Most importantly these courts would take away a patient’s right to a jury trial, which is in direct opposition to the constitution. The AAJ believes that health courts open up the possibility of biased, one-sided proceedings, deny people their right to trial by jury, and serve as another expensive insurance company bureaucracy. Fortunately, the Senate language contains an opt-out provision which would allow victims to have the option of a civil jury trial. Please contact your Congressmen and voice your opposition for health courts.
Many people who support patient’s rights have been using twitter to voice their thoughts on the recent health care debate. This has become a great forum for those to voice their opinions. Many are discussing the 98,000 people who die every year from medical error. We need to ensure that Congress takes this number into account.