PCI Spurs Need for Medical Liability Reform; House Approves Legislation

May 13, 2004

The House on Wednesday approved medical liability reform legislation (H.R. 4280) as part of a package of health care related bills designed to help the economy.

The measure is part of the Republicans’ “Careers for a 21st Century America” agenda which includes a three point plan to boost access to health care for employees and lower health care costs for businesses. This is the second time during the current session of Congress that the House has passed such legislation.

“The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) commends House leaders for continuing to make medical liability reform a priority issue. Congressional action is urgently needed to help put a stop to frivolous lawsuits and establish reasonable limits on unwarranted abusive awards against health care professionals,” said Carl Parks, PCI’s senior vice president for federal government relations.

“The “jackpot justice” legal system has a negative economic impact on the medical community, insurers and businesses generally, according to PCI. Studies demonstrate that reasonable limits on non-economic and punitive damages such as those contained in H.R. 4280 can help make medical liability insurance more available and affordable. “We urge Congress to approve these sensible liability reforms for health care professionals in order to ensure continued accessibility, affordability and quality of health care services in the U.S.,” added Parks.

PCI serves on the Board of the Health Coalition on Liability and Access (HCLA), a broad-based coalition of physician, hospital, employer and insurer associations, working in support of medical liability reform legislation modeled after California’s successful Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA).

Editor’s note: See release from CARH on this subject in National news.

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