Yesterday we discussed the testimony provided by advocates for medical malpractice victims at last week’s H.R. 5 hearing. We continue that discussion as outlined by the Blog of the Legal Times.
Besides mentioning the dubious connection between tort reform and medical malpractice premium decreases, during the hearing Representative Harry Waxman of California also emphasized how the federal government should leave these tort law decisions to the states.
He eloquently explained, “Regulation of insurance and the practice of medicine are quintessential state issues-they always have been. H.R. 5 would take away that or pre-empt that authority and that prerogative…But as this legislation makes clear, that guiding philosophy evaporates when it comes to protecting the interests of the insurance industry. No wonder the author of this legislation did not cite the 10th Amendment-the one that reserves power to the states-as the constitutional basis for its introduction.”
As that logic confirms, far too many individuals are willing to sacrifice basic principles of federal power in an effort to enact national rules being supported by insurance companies. Instead of caving to the demands of big interests, the better plan is to return the focus on increasing patient safety. Rep. John Dingell pointed out the potential successes of programs that make funds available for innovative patient safety programs. In that way, the real problem-the frequency of medical malpractice-is addressed.
Our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Levin & Perconti will continue to monitor the development of this bill and similar medical malpractice related legislation. Thousands and thousands of families that suffer following medical errors; it is important that those citizens not have their legal rights taken away. Be sure to stand up for your right to fair access to the legal system and contact an Illinois injury lawyer if you have been harmed in this way.
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