Last month, the House of Representatives passed a bill which sets a cap on
medical malpractice lawsuits by limiting plaintiff noneconomic damages to $250,000. The “Protecting
Access to Care Act” was passed by a vote count of 218-210.
If the bill were to become law, it would also enforce other limits regarding
attorney fees and implement a three-year statute of limitations. The bill
would apply to healthcare lawsuits which involve coverage provided through
a federal program (e.g. Medicare and Medicaid) or to coverage that is
partially paid for by a government subsidy or tax benefit.
While legislation supporters claim that it would limit unnecessary medical
tests and procedures and reduce costs of healthcare, critics said it could
improperly limit the compensation of plaintiffs who file a healthcare-related
lawsuit and increase medical mistakes. For months, Republicans have been
working on three phases to make changes to the healthcare system by repealing
and replacing parts of Obamacare.
The three phases include:
- Reconciliation bill negotiations in the Senate
- Administrative changes to rules which the Department of Health and Human
Services can make
- Other pieces of legislation, including a bill that would eradicate antitrust
protection for insurers and one allowing small businesses to provide coverage
Prior to the passing of the bill, 80 organizations sent a letter to House
leaders, urging them to oppose the bill. Despite the fact that the bill
only applied to doctors and hospitals, they state that recent studies
suggest that its provisions would result in more deaths and injuries,
as well as increased healthcare costs due to a “broad relaxation
For more information,
contact our Austin personal injury attorneys at
Komie & Morrow, LLP today.