June 26, 2017
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