Health Care

Oppose Legal “Reform” That Tramples Your Right to a Day In Court

 
Vote no to H.R. 1215.

VOTE NO to H.R. 1215

On Thursday, H.R. 1215, a bill designed to shield big corporations from taking any financial responsibility for negligent and intentional actions that cause injury to everyday Americans is set to be fast-tracked through Congress without hearing and with limited debate. It is CRITICAL that every American contact their Representative immediately and tell them you oppose any attempt to limit your access to courts.

Reach out to your federal representatives and tell them to vote NO! on H.R. 1215. To contact your elected officials, visit https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials.

 

H.R. 1215 “Protecting Access to Care” Protects only Corporations – Do Not Be Fooled

Despite its name, H.R. 1215 does not ‘protect access to care,’ but rather, prohibits citizens from obtaining justice after being harmed. It benefits large corporations and harms the average person.

H.R. 1215 will affect anyone who is provided healthcare benefits under Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, or military members.  And, although it is being marketed to the public and Congress as a “medical malpractice” bill, it is much more broad, limiting access to the courts in the case of any “health care provider” who harms an individual.  While this does apply to doctors, it also applies to hospitals, medical facilities and any manufacturer of FDA approved drugs and medical devices (i.e., it protects “big pharma.”)

“I find myself at a loss for words at how any Congressman can support H.R. 1215 and why all Americans aren’t disgusted by any Congressman that votes in its favor,” says Jessica Hoerman, lawyer at TorHoerman Law.

“H.R. 1215 is the brainchild of an organization that is funded by Big Pharma, the tobacco and insurance industries.  It is being marketed as a medical malpractice bill because that is an easy sell to the American people – we love our doctors.  But, don’t be fooled, this is the broadest restriction to state tort systems that has ever been created – it will restrict American’s rights to access the courts if you were harmed by anyone or anything related to healthcare, including dangerous drugs and devices.”

This bill goes so far as to protect these same “health care providers” in the case of intentional torts such as rape, assault or battery.  So, for instance, if a nursing home resident is raped by an employee and it is learned that the nursing home facility failed to conduct a background check, the family of the nursing home resident would be limited in holding the nursing home liable for putting their elderly family member in harms way.
H.R. 1215 takes a wrecking ball to our democratic state tort system, drawing a lot of conservative groups to oppose H.R. 1215.  According to Hoerman, “It is truly disturbing that this bill that causes us to give up on our system of federalism is being fast tracked through Congress, with very little debate.  It is a bill that specifically removes the right of a state to govern its own courts and instead tells the American people that D.C. is in the better position to govern them.  In Illinois, the courts have specifically overruled a cap on damages not once but twice, yet, D.C. lobbyists plan to step in and cap them anyway.  Regardless of what you think about tort reform, everyone should be able to agree that it is something left to the states to decide.”

Americans are left with no choice but to step up in place of a real debate.  Please take the time to call your Representative and let them know that you do not support any bill that will limit your access to the courts, and specifically H.R. 1215.

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