Newly Proposed Bill Seeks to Punish Those Who Benefit From Affordable Care Act & Medicare
Recently, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee proposed a bill, H.R. 1215, also known as the “Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017”, which would effectively make health care less safe for individuals who receive service member health plans, or benefit from the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, or Medicaid. Many of the inaptly named bill’s provisions protect negligent hospitals and practitioners instead of injured patients, lining the pockets of the wealthy at the expense of others’ safety and lives.
If, for example, you were injured or harmed in a hospital or nursing home, or by a drug or medical device, and tried to seek compensation, you would run into a justice system designed against you. H.R. 1215 would impose an across-the-board $250,000 cap on compensation for non-economic injuries, such as paralysis. This federal mandate, which would be effective even in states where such caps are unconstitutional, essentially values human life and trauma at a cost that is of little inconvenience to hospitals or health care professionals.
This is not the only portentous provision included in this bill. Its enactment would take power from local juries who would otherwise decide individual cases and place it squarely in the hands of DC politicians. In fact, most of H.R. 1215’s provisions leave wrongfully injured patients vulnerable, take power from states, and allow wrongdoers to profit from their misdeeds. Organizations like the American Association for Justice have been vocal in their dissent, hoping to preserve the constitutional right to trial by jury, and allowing justice a chance in a system that is not tilted against victims.
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