Earlier this week, the Washington Post published an article about the influence of lobbyists on legislation that would decimate patients’ rights and eliminate fair compensation for non-economic damages, frequently referred to as pain and suffering. The article comes on the heels of public declarations by heads of lobbyist groups who claim that H.R. 1215, the Protecting Access to Care Act, was passed in the House and used nearly identical language to the drafts they submitted to Representatives. The Washington Post quotes New York Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries: “Large business groups are writing these bills. This has got to stop.” The House passed H.R. 1215 with a vote of 218-210 in July. The Senate is due to take a summer recess before Congress reconvenes after Labor Day. A Senate vote on H.R. 1215 will likely take place in September.
The Washington Post also touches on the swiftness with which some of the recently proposed bills have been passed, as well as the rarity of a bill that concerns something as large as tort reform being voted on without hearings from public interest groups and other outside parties. The article points out that the Senate’s recent attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act was also voted on without public input.
Big Business Lobbyists Scoring Major Victories