House Committee Holds Hearing on Need for Medical Liability Reform Legislation

March 3, 2003

The House Energy & Commerce subcommittee on Health held a hearing last week to assess the need for medical liability reform legislation, H.R. 5. The full House Judiciary Committee plans to hold a hearing on the same issue on March 4. Both committees are expected to mark up the legislation shortly thereafter, and the bill could move to the House floor as early as the following week.

“Medical liability legislation is urgently needed,” Carl Parks, senior vice president, government relations, National Association of Independent Insurers (NAII), said. “In order to ensure that medical malpractice coverage is more available and affordable, state and federal laws must be changed to make claims frequency and severity more predictable,” added Parks. NAII commends the House for moving to consider H.R. 5 and encourage them to act quickly.

Witnesses testifying at the hearing in support of medical liability reform included representatives for the American Medical Association, the Physician Insurers Association of America, and the American Academy of Actuaries and Californians Allied for Patient Protection.

The American Medical Association and The Health Coalition on Liability and Access (HCLA) will hold a press conference to release new information to show that America’s liability crisis is jeopardizing patients’ access to medical care. New data will be released showing that more states are in crisis and that more Americans support liability reforms.

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