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#H.R. 5: like a thief in the night

Over 100,000 people die and thousands more are injured each year due to medical errors and yet, some in Congress want to limit patient’s access to the courts and they are attempting to pass a bill that would do just that.

Public Citizen’s Christine Hines explains why the current situation in Congress cannot go undetected in a piece entitled, “The GOP shield for the healthcare industry,” for The Hill:

“A subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee recently debated H.R. 5, which would give virtual liability immunity to the medical industry for reckless conduct. Included in its repertoire is a national $250,000 cap on non-economic damages, restrictions on punitive damages against pharmaceutical and medical device companies that engage in reckless conduct, limits on the time period for a patient to file a lawsuit to seek compensation for injuries and other obstacles that would deter meritorious cases from going forward.

Hines notes this of the bill’s sponsor:

According to Gingrey, “[h]ealth care-related lawsuits are activities that affect interstate commerce.” Yet, for Gingrey, his statement represents a complete reversal from his position on the Affordable Care Act, which he has called “the government takeover of our healthcare system.”

What else is of interest is how Gingrey is trying to stance on access to the court was different when it involved him. See here.

According to Hines,

“Support for H.R. 5 among purported conservatives has nothing to do with adhering to particular principles. It is largely about giving handouts to powerful friends in the medical industry.”

Read the full text of  “The GOP shield for the healthcare industry,” which originally appeared in the Hill.