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Press Releases

House Passes Medical Tort Reform

Press Release
Jun 28, 2017

Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Vista), a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Protecting Access to Care Act, which provides tort reform for healthcare lawsuits. The bill will help lower the cost of health insurance by reducing defensive medicine and frivolous medical lawsuits.
 
“One of the chief failings of the Affordable Care Act is that it never addressed the true cost-drivers of healthcare,” said Congressman Darrell Issa. “We spend billions every year on unnecessary procedures just to shield providers from possible lawsuits and it makes health care more expensive for all of us. This is on top of the huge sums doctors pay for malpractice insurance – fees which are ultimately passed on to us as the consumer. The bill we passed today uses California medical liability reform as a model for the nation to deliver real savings to American families.
 
Background: The Protecting Access to Care Act is modeled after California’s Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (called MICRA), which has curbed California’s medical professional liability premiums, and Texas’ Medical Liability and Insurance Improvement Act (MLIIA).

According to the Congressional Budget Office, under the Protecting Access to Care Act, federally funded healthcare programs could save more than $50 billion over the next 10 years. 
 
MICRA’s reforms in California, which are included in the Protecting Access to Care Act, include a $250,000 cap on noneconomic damages, limitations on the contingency fees lawyers can charge to maximize patient recovery, and a “fair share rule,” by which damages are allocated in direct proportion to fault.
 
The Protecting Access to Care Act does not limit awards for economic damages to injured victims.
 

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