H.R. 5 is a piece of federal medical malpractice tort reform sponsored by Georgia’s Republican leader, John Gringrey. This bill just passed the House, and is scheduled to go before Congress. If Congress passes the bill, it will go before President Obama.
H.R. 5 is a bill that caps the medical malpractice settlement amount the victim can receive if they sue. The goal of H.R. 5 is to stabilize medical malpractice insurance rates thus reducing medical costs to patients.
Capping medical malpractice suits will benefit most doctors, hospitals and the AMA. In theory, insurance rates would stabalize, and in turn those costs would be passed along to paying customers.
However, the argument against H.R.5 is that it takes away the doctors incentive to follow best practice and protect the patient and so it is difficult to tell if this law is more in favor of protecting the doctors or the patients. The other argument is how significantly it will affect our health care costs without further health care reforms.
For instance, another way to cut health care costs might be to lower the incomes of medical professionals. Medical professionals in the U.S. are paid significantly more than their counterparts in other nations. Drug company executives, who charge US patients more for drugs than patients residing in other countries, and health insurance executives.
H.R.5 just passed the House, and you can track the progress of H.R.5 by visiting GovTrack.us.
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