Makes Effort to Stop Skyrocketing Malpractice Insurance Premiums
For Immediate Release.
March 14, 2003 The
House of Representatives took a positive step in liability reform to stop skyrocketing malpractice insurance premiums when
it passed on February 13, 2003, by
a 229-196 vote, the Help Efficient, Accessible, Low Cost, Timely Health
Care (HEALTH) Act of 2003 (H.R. 5). 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.
health care system is 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.
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. “For too long, for their own personal financial
gains, many attorneys have been harming physicians, hospitals, and most
importantly the patients by fostering a legal system that has resulted
in an out-of-control liability system,” said Dr. Joel P. Rutkowski,
president of the American Voice Institute of Public Policy.
“The Help Efficient, Accessible, Low Cost, Timely Health Care
(HEALTH) Act of 2003 (H.R. 5) is a positive effort to improve America's
health care system as it discourages attorneys from lining their pockets
with financial rewards obtained from frivolous claims, " added
Joel P. Rutkowski, P.h.D.
President, The American Voice Institute Of Public Policy
to the American Voice Institute of Public Policy Home Page