How Do These Foes of Health Care Reform Escape Righteous Wrath?

From page 17 of the American Association for Justice’s third quarter lobbying disclosure form, the “torts” section listing legislation, amendments and issues the trial lawyers’ group lobbied on:

ADDENDUM for General Lobbying Issue Area: TOR – Torts

(Healthy Americans Act) specific interest in provisions in Title VI and VII relating to payments to States for implementing measures related to liability for medical malpractice.

Lobbying with regard to medical malpractice liability as it relates to any health care reform proposal generally.

Affordable Health Choices Act (HELP Committee health care reform bill; unnumbered as of 9/30/2009); specific interest in amendments relating to liability for medical negligence:

Hatch amendment #6, not agreed to; to shield doctors and hospitals from liability for medical malpractice while limiting the legal rights of patients who reside in rural and medically underserved communities.

Americas Healthy Future Act (Finance Committee health care reform bill; unnumbered as of 9/30/2009); specific interest in amendments relating to liability for medical negligence:

Kyl amendment #C25, not agreed to; to cap non-economic damages in all civil medical liability actions against health care providers and health care institutions, to apply new restrictions on expert affidavits that must accompany any health care claim, to eliminate joint and several liability, and to pre-empt state law in civil medical liability actions.

Cornyn amendment #D13, not agreed to; to dictate that all states receiving Medicaid funding enact a cap on non-economic damages for all civil medical liability actions against doctors and health care facilities.

Ensign #D3, not agreed to; to cap non-economic damages and punitive damages, to eliminate joint and several liability, and to place additional restrictions on expert witnesses in all civil medical liability actions against health care providers and health care institutions.

Ensign #D4, not agreed to; to provide increased Federal Medical Assistance Percentage funding for states that enact caps on non-economic damages and punitive damages, eliminate joint and several liability, and place additional restrictions on expert witnesses in all civil medical liability actions against health care providers and health care institutions.

H.R. 3200 (America’s Affordable Health Choices Act); specific interest in amendments relating to liability for medical negligence:

Gordon amendment, adopted en bloc; to provide federal funding for states to develop and implement certificate of merit and early offers alternative litigation compensation models for medical malpractice.

Deal amendment, not agreed to; to expand the Federal Tort Claims Act to cover medical providers of emergency services for emergency room patient screenings.

Burgess amendment, not agreed to; to limit liability for emergency care, and to apply medical malpractice caps for lawsuits against health care providers for services and treatments for which a provider seeks Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement.

H.R. 1478/ S. 1347 (Carmelo Rodriguez Military Medical Accountability Act of 2009); to allow members of the Armed Forces to sue the United States for damages for certain injuries caused by improper medical care.

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