Yesterday we posted a story explaining the Congressional hearing that was to take place today regarding H.R. 5-a misguided, dangerous piece of legislation working its way through Congress. Innocuously labeled, as many of these bills are, the official name of the legislation is the “Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-Cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act of 2011.”
We have already written extensively on the illogical measures proposed by the bill and the immense harm that it could well inflict on many Illinois medical malpractice victims. This week the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) came out against the proposal. In a letter sent to the committee holding the hearing, the organization expressed “strong bipartisan opposition to the passage of the latest federal medical malpractice legislation.”
The organization emphasized that there is no need for a one-size-fits all approach to the issue that would directly impede the rights of each state to decide important matters. Product liability and all other tort law issues have always been decided by individual states-there is no need for changes to that now.
Conservative political thinkers often remind others of the need to respect the American federalist tradition. Of course the nation’s Founders specifically created a system that respected the rights of individual states to dictate policy except in the areas specifically enumerated by the Constitution. In this way, diversity among the states was intended to foster an environment where differences ultimately reveal those practices that work best. One famous member of the judiciary explained that the states are intended to be “laboratories” where policies are tested and measured.
H.R. 5 is in direct conflict with this principle. It ignores states’ rights and destroys the possibility of testing various options to truly understand what policies work and what doesn’t. The preemption of state law would provide a big government solution to the individual choices of states and the juries within those states.
Our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Levin & Perconti support the logical arguments against this proposed law. It is important to hold our legislators accountable for the principles that they advocate. All those lawmakers who have stated their support for federalism should remain steadfastly against this latest encroachment on that principle. Our Illinois injury lawyers will continue to spread the truth about H.R. 5.
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