The American Bar Association has more than 400,000 members, and it one of the largest voluntary organizations in the world. When the group takes a stand, it does so knowing that it has the power of nearly half a million people behind it. That is why this letter from Thomas M. Susman, Director of the ABA’s Governmental Affairs Office, to Chairman Bob Goodlatte and Ranking Member John Coyers, Jr., of the House Judiciary Committee, expressing opposition to HR 1215: Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017, is so powerful – and so important.
Crandall & Pera Law has gone on record stating the dangers of HR 1215, and we stand with the ABA. The myth of tort reform as a measure for good is pervasive, and fighting it has been an uphill battle. Despite ample evidence to the contrary, legislators in this country still believe the lies that “frivolous” lawsuits are contributing in any way to the rising costs of healthcare.
In fact, a new study shows paid medical malpractice claims are decreasing, not increasing. Tort reform was dreamed up by the insurance companies as a way to avoid accountability to their own customers. Medical malpractice lawsuits contribute to, at best, 2% to 3% of the cost of healthcare. The only thing tort reform will reliably do is hurt victims.
HR 1215 has nothing to do with helping people and everything to do with helping negligent doctors and insurance companies avoid accountability by, among other things:
- Limiting all non-economic damages to $250,000, regardless of the severity of the injury
- Making all claims federal claims, thus preempting states’ rights
- Limiting the amount the victim’s attorney can be paid, with no limitation on the amount the doctor or his/her insurer can pay their lawyer
We encourage you to read the full text of the letter to the committee, and take a stand with us and with the American bar Association. Please contact your representatives and tell them that patients matter more than paychecks. Vote No on HR 1215, and protect your rights, and the rights of victims throughout the country.