Under the radar of most news, H.R. 1215 narrowly passed the US House of Representatives with a 218-210 vote at the end of June. It sends a clear message as the bill goes on to the Senate that it’s a clearly unpopular bill and voting down the bill is supported by a number of groups, including both Democrats and Republicans alike.
The vote held every Democrat in a no vote and 19 Republicans also joined in voting against the bill, illustrating just how bad this bill is viewed by many of their constituents. Designed to severely limit the ability of patients to hold those responsible accountable when they are injured by medical malpractice, nursing home abuse, medical devices and drugs, the bill guts victims’ rights and puts an insufficient price tag on their lives. For more information about details of the bill, be sure to read our previous summary of H.R. 1215 and its effects on you.
As H.R. 1215 moves on to the Senate, there is a strong possibility that the bill be will be approved and become law. White House advisors are advising President Trump to sign the bill into law should it be approved by the Senate. It is important to call your Senator and tell them to vote NO on H.R. 1215 if you want to protect your rights.
Pressuring our Senators to vote against H.R. 1215 can make a difference in whether or not the bill passes and becomes a law, especially considering that 19 Republicans have already decided that the bill will take away Americans’ rights. Calling your Senator and telling your friends to do the same is the next step to protect your rights and helping to stop H.R. 1215.
Many proponents of the bill think that H.R. 1215 and limiting caps on medical malpractice lawsuits is the solution to lower healthcare costs but lawsuits don’t affect the costs of healthcare. But experts disagree that federal tort reform is the answer. Even those in the medical community disagree with the reforms proposed by H.R. 1215. A general surgeon in Phoenix, Dr. Jeffrey Singer says “we’re fooling ourselves if we think that it’ll be the magic bullet” of the proposed law.”
For many, it’s not until a year or two after an operation that you being to notice the effects of medical malpractice. One of the biggest hurdles for victims to overcome if H.R. 1215 becomes a law is the statute of limitations will be changed to just three short years for medical malpractice claims. If it takes you two years of trying to get to the bottom of why you’re getting worse after medical care that should have been successful, it only leaves one year to make your claim.
As lawyers who serve clients seeking restitution in medical malpractice cases, we’ve seen firsthand just how much recovering from someone else’s mistake can cost and how complex medical malpractice cases can get. Limiting the statute of limitations so severely will directly affect the number of people who are able to pursue making a claim, resulting in many victims being unable to receive the care they need after their injury. And it goes without saying that we believe a life is worth more than $250,000 if someone is killed by medical care below the standard of care.
It is important to take action and protect your medical malpractice rights. Call your Senator and tell them to vote NO on H.R. 1215. Don’t know how to contact your Senator? Just call U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 after finding out your Senator’s name.