According to a report written by the Washington Post, the House of Representatives has passed the Protecting Access to Healthcare Act (PATH) which will have serious consequences for doctors and for medical malpractice attorneys if it becomes law. The measure limits noneconomic damages for medical malpractice claims to $250,000 and it also disbands the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a panel that was supposed to brief Congress about the changes to Medicare in 2014.
The bill, sponsored by Republicans in the House passed nearly on party lines, with all but a handful of Democrats opposing the measure. The measure has to pass the Senate before it can go to the President for his signature. However, the Democrats still remain in control of the Senate, so the bill is likely to die in the Senate and never reach the President.
What this means, however, is that Congress is taking issue with some of the medical malpractice provisions in the new health care law. All practitioners should pay be paying attention to whether the health care law survives the Supreme Court. The medical malpractice provisions in that bill are certainly of concern to Congress and should be to the rest of those lawyers practicing in that area.
Of course, coupled with the bill was the usual rhetoric between the parties about which position on health care and the health care bill is the best solution for America's health care crisis. The Republicans labeled the advisory board a bunch of "unelected bureaucrats" prompting Representative Tom Rice of Georgia to say, "When bureaucrats choose, patients lose." Representative John Fleming of Louisiana said that the panel may be a dream come true for socialists "but it's a nightmare for the American people." House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speaking for the opposition said that this is just another attempt by the Republicans to "unravel Medicare."
Both legal and medical practitioners should be attuned to what is coming out of Washington because it may have significant consequences for both parties. If you require the services of a medical malpractice attorney or if you have questions about a medical injury, please contact the personal injury lawyers at Kobs & Philley, PLLC at (601) 856-7800.
Source: "Bill stripping parts of health care law passes House," by Ed O'Keefe, published at WashingtonPost.com.
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