Learn more

Published

June 26, 2017

Share

This Key Vote Alert!letter was sent to all members of the U.S. House of Representatives in support of H.R. 1215, the Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017. This legislation would make much needed reforms to the nation's medical liability system.

June 26, 2017

TO THE MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Chamber Institute for

Legal Reform (ILR) urge you to support H.R. 1215, the “Protecting Access to

Care Act of 2017” and oppose any weakening or hostile amendments that may

be offered. The Chamber will consider including votes related to the bill in the

2017 How They Voted scorecard. H.R.1215 would help reduce unnecessary

healthcare spending caused by a clearly broken medical liability system.

Medical liability continues to be an area in need of reform. Excessive costs

incurred by litigating baseless lawsuits, which encourage defensive medicine, affect

all Americans and cost the federal government billions of dollars in health

expenditures. These costs have also made it harder for high-risk medical specialty

practitioners to obtain reasonably priced medical liability insurance coverage in many

parts of the country. As a result, some hospitals have been forces to close their doors

completely or discontinue providing of some types of procedures, forcing patients to

travel further, sometimes across state lines, for medical services, and in some

circumstances forego needed care.

The costs associated with our current medical liability system also negatively

impact American jobs. As healthcare costs increase, employers are forced to limit

wage growth and hiring. Furthermore, companies are hesitant to locate and hire in

areas with medical provider shortages, as it is difficult to attract and maintain

necessary talent in these areas.

H.R. 1215 would make many reforms that would help reduce these excessive

costs while allowing patients who were injured by negligent care to recover all of

their economic losses, such as medical bills and lost wages. The bill would also

allow for the recovery of reasonable non-economic damages. The Chamber and ILR

urge you to support this legislation and oppose any hostile or weakening

amendments.