In our continuing fight to protect patients’ rights and to combat H.R. 1215, a proposal that would cap a patient’s right to fair compensation for medical errors and negligence, we would like to take the opportunity to share more evidence to contradict the myth that medical costs are skyrocketing due to malpractice costs.
Fact vs. Fiction: Medical Malpractice
Below, please see some of the most commonly cited arguments in defense of limiting medical malpractice payouts and review the truth about these so called facts.
- As healthcare costs increase, medical malpractice claims and payouts are also on the rise: FALSE
Fact: In 2015 (the last year of available data), the federal government reports that the number of medical malpractice claims were at the lowest level on record. The actual dollar amount paid by physicians was also at its lowest in 2015.
- Insurance premiums keep getting higher & higher as a direct result of medical malpractice: FALSE
Fact: In 2015 (again, the last year for which data is available), paid medical malpractice premiums were at their lowest since 2003.
- All the money in the world cannot fix what’s already happened or compensate for the loss of a loved one: TRUE
Fact: No amount of money is going to fill the void left by the loss of a loved one or make up for the fact that the course of someone’s life has been altered by a medical mistake. However, this is the system we have in the United States. The 7th Amendment gives us the right to a trial by jury of our peers. In placing a cap on the amount of damages allowed to be recovered, the role and importance of a jury, a respected privilege we have relied on since 1791, is diminished.
It’s Not About Money
You cannot know the pain of lasting injury or the loss of someone you love due to a preventable error until you’ve watched it happen to you or someone you know. This is not about money. This is not about a specific dollar amount or padding the pockets of attorneys or victim’s families. This is about sending a message to an industry that while accidents do happen, they cannot be at the cost of someone’s future. The system is set up in this country to provide compensation that helps recover financial costs and to ease the pain and suffering caused by preventable medical errors.
You Can Easily Join The Fight Against Injustice
This is what is most concerning: Preventable medical errors are the 3rd leading cause of death in this country. Knowing how prevalent medical negligence is, it is hard to justify limiting the right to fair compensation. In light of these facts, we would like to encourage you to take 30 seconds and click here to send an auto generated email to your senators that voices your disapproval of H.R. 1215.