The Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), also known as Obamacare, is the comprehensive health care reform law enacted in 2010 that provides consumers with subsidies that lower costs for households with incomes between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level.
As has been mentioned heavily in the news cycle, President Trump’s administration has been hard at work attempting to modify the Act. While the initial repeal failed, a bill has been proposed that would place new limits on medical malpractice lawsuits that involved care insured by Medicare, Medicaid or private health insurance that was subsidized by the Act. The bill was first proposed by Iowa Republican Representative, Steve King.
The goal of the bill is to limit lawsuits that lack merit since it is those suits that proponents of the bill claim drive up health care costs. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated the bill would reduce the federal budget by approximately $50 billion over the next 10 years since health care providers would be permitted to lessen the use of services they currently pay for and use in order to reduce the potential for medical malpractice lawsuits.
While lessening the heavy cost burden that currently exists for health care providers is clearly a priority for the current administration, the question that needs to be asked is, at whose expense?
The newly proposed bill opens up the possibility of denying financial justice to victims of medical malpractice since it would become much more difficult for victims to hold negligent health care providers responsible for their mistakes. In fact, if a doctor prescribed medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and that drug caused harm to the patient, the doctor would not be permitted to be included in the medical malpractice lawsuit against the drug’s manufacturer or seller.
In addition to limiting the people that may be sued in a medical malpractice action, the bill would also limit the amount of non-economic damages that an injured patient could recover.
The bill is currently supported by the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association and the American Health Care Association.
Medical malpractice can have devastating effects that last a lifetime. If you have been injured by a physician’s neglect, attorneys Charles Gilman and Briggs Bedigian will work to get you the full compensation to which you are entitled. Call 800-529-6162 today or contact them online for a free case evaluation. They handle cases in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.
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