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Proposed Medical Malpractice Reforms May Hurt Patients

H.R. 1215, otherwise known as the “Protecting Access to Health Care Act of 2017,” passed in the U.S. House of Representatives in June. This bill, contrary to its title, limited the ability of any person receiving federally subsidized health care to hold medical providers, nursing homes, and pharmaceutical companies accountable for any injuries, illnesses, or deaths they may cause out of negligence. This bill includes cases where care is provided or subsidized by the federal government, including through a subsidy or tax benefit.

The bill caps noneconomic damages at $250,000, and juries presiding over the case may not be informed of this limitation. It also requires long-term, rather than lump-sum, payouts, which can prevent people from paying off their large medical bills immediately. Likewise, it decreases the overall time people have to discover issues.

H.R. 1215 was created to protect companies over patients, and the likely result is that patients who are harmed through the negligence of an incompetent physician will not get full compensation for the injury done to them.

Currently, the bill is waiting for a Senate vote. Democrats who opposite it dislike the bill’s attempt to replace the Affordable Care Act while Republicans oppose the measure on the basis it imposes too much federal power over an area that states typically oversee. If you’re concerned about the bill’s passage, talk to your U.S. senators as soon as possible to make your opinion on H.R. 1215 known.

If you’ve already been a victim of the negligence of a physician, make sure he or she faces justice. Talk to one of our skilled West Virginia medical malpractice attorneys about your case. Berthold Law Firm, PLLC has more than 40 years of experience in personal injury law to offer you and your family. If a medical error led to an increase in your medical bills, make sure you are fairly compensated for the loss.

Contact us at (304) 605-2040 or fill out our online form for your free consultation today. We look forward to speaking with you.