Health Coalition Praises House Committee for Passage of Medical Liability Reform

WASHINGTON, May 12, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The House Energy and Commerce Committee met earlier this week to mark up H.R. 5, the "Help Accessible, Efficient, Low-cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act," and move the medical liability reform measure on to a vote by the full House of Representatives. The bill passed the Committee by a vote of 30 to 20. A floor vote will be scheduled for the coming months.

"The passage of the HEALTH Act by the Energy and Commerce Committee brings us one step closer to reforming our nation's broken medical liability system," said HCLA Chair Mike Stinson. "The HCLA is pleased that the Committee understands the importance of this bill in protecting access to care, lowering costs for our patients, and reining in our federal deficit."

The HEALTH Act mirrors proven medical liability reforms already in place in states such as California and Texas by placing a reasonable limit on non-economic damages, enacting a statute of limitations, allowing for periodic payment of future damages, and limiting personal injury attorneys' contingency fees.

In a recent report, the Congressional Budget Office determined that a reform package modeled on the HEALTH Act would reduce the federal budget deficit by an estimated $62 billion between 2012 and 2021.

"The HEALTH Act has the support of lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle, and we look forward to consideration of this comprehensive medical liability reform bill by the full House of Representatives in the near future," said Stinson.

The House has passed the HEALTH Act in four previous Congresses, and related medical liability reform legislation cleared the House an additional eight times since 1995.

For more details, visit The Health Coalition on Liability and Access is a national advocacy coalition representing physicians, hospitals, health care liability insurers, employers, health care providers and consumers. HCLA believes federal legislation is needed to bring fairness, timeliness and cost-effectiveness to America's medical liability system.

SOURCE Health Coalition on Liability and Access