Takes a Positive Step to Help Stop
Rising Insurance Premiums
For Immediate Release.
September 27, 2002 The
nation's health care system is being plagued by a national insurance
crisis. Major insurers have been forced to eliminate coverage or increase
premiums to unaffordable levels as medical professionals' liability
insurance rates skyrocket. Physicians as well as other health care providers
are being forced to quit their practices or have to relocate because
of rising insurance premiums, especially in high-risk medical specialties
like emergency medicine, gynecology, neurology, and obstetrics.
As a result,
the House of Representatives took a step in the right direction to stop
skyrocketing malpractice insurance premiums when it passed by a 217-203
vote the Help Efficient, Accessible, Low Cost, Timely Health Care (HEALTH)
Act of 2002. This legislation caps pain-and-suffering damages that juries
award in malpractice suits. The measure also allows unlimited economic
damage, such as for past and future earnings, but would limit non-economic
damages to $250,000.
crisis is the result of attorneys and the legal system. Primarily a
result of escalating jury awards and the burgeoning costs of defending
against lawsuits which include frivolous claims, premiums have been
forced to escalate. "It is time to stop an out-of-control liability
system that is harming physicians, hospitals, and most importantly the
patients," said Dr. Joel P. Rutkowski, president of the American
Voice Institute of Public Policy. "Such legislative reform is a
step forward in improving America's health care system, not lining the
pockets of attorneys."
Joel P. Rutkowski, P.h.D.
President, The American Voice Institute Of Public Policy
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