This is one of the most urgent issues we have ever had to feature on our blog. Within the next two weeks, H.R. 1215, also known as the Protecting Access to Care Act, will be voted on in the House. If it passes, it moves to the Senate for a vote and then onto President Trump for approval before becoming law. Although the name of the act sounds promising, the summary is this: H.R. 1215 will limit your ability to receive anything in excess of $250,000 in non economic damages. This means that if a serious preventable medical error or a complete lapse of care in a nursing home occurred, you would not be able to recover more than $250,000 to compensate you or your loved ones for the loss of many liberties you may have once enjoyed, including your life. All it takes is a look at some of our verdicts and settlements to see just a handful of the atrocities that have taken place against ordinary American citizens.
Before we go any further, we’d like to ask you to spend 30 seconds notifying congress that you do not support HR 1215. Please click here to enter your zip and/or full address to have an email auto generated to your senators.
Restricting Legal Settlements Does NOT Lead to Better or Cheaper Health Care
Politicians constantly use the faulty argument that soaring legal costs are behind our health care crisis in America. In short, those who will vote in favor of H.R. 1215 believe that liability insurance is driving up premiums (the amount we pay just to have health insurance), scaring doctors away from sharing medical updates and breakthroughs for fear of being targeted if the same treatment doesn’t work on another’s patient, and causing doctors to limit their patients and office locations to those people and places where they can guarantee they’ll receive payment. Why see patients with bad or no insurance when they can’t pay their bill when it comes due? The problem is that by placing the blame on large medical malpractice awards, the facts and decency itself are being overlooked. The numbers don’t lie. Medical malpractice lawsuits are down in numbers and the scary truth is that this data was compiled by an organization created by Congress. Please view the facts as detailed in our recent post, Malpractice Payouts Decreasing for Physician Errors. We would argue that the crux of the problem lies in insurer greed. Knowing that malpractice payouts have gone down, what are insurers doing with these savings? Certainly not passing them on to us, as we’re all facing rising premiums and restricted care.
U.S. Senator Takes Payout for Medical Malpractice and Then Votes to Limit Payouts for Others
Many in favor of restricting non economic damages have been lucky enough to avoid having to deal with the reality of facing a preventable error. That is, until the day their luck runs out. The most notable of those fighting for reduced awards is former Senator Rick Santorum. During his time as a Senator, Santorum was an advocate for limiting personal injury awards to $250,000, just as H.R. 1215 is seeking to do. His wife sued her chiropractor years ago and received a settlement for her injuries, including a large amount for non economic damages. When later asked how he could support capping damages when his wife had benefited from the very system he was railing against, Santorum LIED and said that his wife was only suing for money they lost by paying for incidentals that arose as a result of the preventable injury. His statement was proven to be false.
PLEASE ACT NOW
If you are a current client of Levin & Perconti, a former client, a parent who realizes a preventable birth injury could have changed the course of their and their child’s life, someone who may eventually face the decision to place a parent in a nursing home, someone who personally is living in the aftermath of a preventable medical error, someone who has loved a victim of a medical or health care mistake, if you believe in the facts of why health care costs are rising, we are appealing to you as Americans to also write or call your Representative and Senators to urge them to NOT vote in favor of this bill. This is a bipartisan issue, an American issue, a human issue. We cannot stand by and watch our government tell us that the answer to fixing our health care crisis is to take away the American right to fair compensation.
Making a phone call is quick and easy. Please call both your Representative and Senators and give your name and county of residence and passionately voice your opposition to H.R. 1215. Your voice counts.
To find your Representative, click here.
To find your Senators, click here.