HR 1215, also known as the “Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017,” is bill created to put dollars over patient safety. The bill caps non-economic recoveries at $250,000. This means if someone was critically injured by a negligent physician, that person wouldn’t receive more than $250,000 for pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life. While many might seem like this is a lot of money, certain long-lasting conditions can affect the course of a person’s life. People couldn’t recover damages for any of the following scenarios:
- Lifetime paralysis because of a surgery error
- A baby sustains permanent brain damage after a doctor fails to perform a C-Section
- A physician fails to diagnose cancer properly, and now your condition may be terminal
- A doctor prescribes the incorrect drug, which results in a patient’s wrongful death
Is $250,000 the cost of the suffering the people above must be experiencing? Is that amount sufficient for a family’s loss?
HR 1215 also prevents patients from receiving compensation in a lump sum amount. Instead of getting their money in full and using it to pay medical bills and investing it in savings accounts, insurance companies would be able to hold onto the amount and benefit from interest rates.
Studies have shown medical mistakes are the third leading cause of fatalities in the United States. Whether they are the result of surgical errors, prescription errors, or misdiagnoses, the injuries resulting from them can be catastrophic. These “reforms,” masked as a concern for patient medical care availability, would do nothing more than victimize injured patients further.
The most crucial consideration Congress should be making is how to protect the lives and health of the American people, rather than conserving the pocket change of large insurance companies. Most health care professionals care about patient safety and want to work toward the safest outcome; however, overworked and undertrained professionals can cause serious mistakes and medical mishaps. People make mistakes, but those in the medical community can rarely afford to do so and must exercise maximum care in their day-to-day work.
Call your congressional representatives and Senate members and make sure they know you disagree with HR 1215, and they should vote against it. Likewise, if you or a loved one was injured by a negligent medical professional, let us help. Kempton & Russell has more than 60 years of legal experience to offer your case. Let our Sedalia medical malpractice attorneys see what they can do for you.
Contact us at (660) 722-4115 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case consultation today.