As Congress steps into 2017, lawmakers are considering to take an aggressive
course of action regarding the nation’s current health care system.
Top Republicans in Congress argue that there is a medical malpractice
issue threatening the U.S. health care system as a whole – due to
seemingly impractical lawsuits, insurance premiums are sky rocketing,
which can often result in putting physicians out of work and, ultimately,
business. Under this assumption, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Rep. Tom
Price are making a promise to implement tort reform changes as a crucial
component to the overhaul of the Affordable Care Act. Experts and researches
argue, however, that the reality of our nation’s health care system
does not match Republican’s line of thinking.
New Proposals Elevate Burden of Proof Injured Patients Must Face
According to Kaiser Health News, doctors and physicians are actually paying
less for medical malpractice insurance than they were 15 years ago and
the rate of filed claims has significantly dropped by half since 2003.
Rand Corp. researcher Nicholas Pace says “it’s a time of relative
calm, and this hasn’t been a front-burner issue or crisis. But now
Republicans see an opportunity to make changes they have wanted for a
long time as they replace Obamacare.”
These new proposals would elevate the burden of proof on injured patients
and make it much easier for doctors to successfully defend themselves
in medical malpractice cases – patients may find themselves fighting
an even steeper uphill battle if the legislation goes into effect. While
Congress lawmakers are eager to put these plans to action, academic researches
contest that these new reforms fail to address an even bigger goal to
reduce overall patient harm. Every year, nearly 250,000 patients are killed
from medical malpractice errors, making it the nation’s third-leading
cause of death, behind heart disease and cancer.
“You need solid empirical evidence”
Furthermore, the proposed reforms also place caps on damages – a
rule that more than 30 states have already implemented. In California,
for example, noneconomic damages for medical malpractice lawsuits cap
at $250,000. If Congress wishes to keep premium costs at a minimum, researchers
state that placing caps is not the way to do it. Aside from also considering
economic cycles and investment returns, some courts have been known to
quickly strike down such laws, ruling that they are ineffective and unconstitutional.
In light of talks regarding reform and new health care proposals, experts
remain hesitant and suggest that lawmakers practice extreme caution in
approaching tort reform issues. “You need solid empirical evidence
before you move forward on a national malpractice reform, not anecdotes
or horror stories,” Pace said. “That is not how you decide
to overhaul the entire system.”
If you or a loved one has been injured at the hands of a medical professional’s
negligence, you can trust that David C. Rash P.A. is here to aggressively
protect your rights. Our Florida medical malpractice attorney is unafraid
to stand up to large entities and demand justice.
We believe in justice. Call (954) 914-7116 to schedule your free consultation today.