by Kiren Gopal
In a resounding defeat of Senator Hatch’s medical liability
amendment, the Senate H.E.L.P. Committee voted 13-10 yesterday against imposing
an arbitrary cap on damages. This is an
important signal to the Finance Committee that restrictive limits on medical
liability will not address our rising health care costs or incentivize a
reduction in avoidable medical errors.
The amendment would have also imposed contingency fee limits,
restrictive statutes of limitations, and raised the burden of proof. Measures like these do nothing to combat the
very real problem of medical malpractice.
“Between three and seven Americans die from medical errors for every one
who receives a payment for any malpractice claim,” according to Public
Citizen’s latest study. Given these
staggering statistics, limiting negligent provider accountability is not a sensible