In a scary turn, a bill was pushed through the House of Representatives without formal hearings, news coverage, or even a Tweet about it that would cap non-economic damages for medical malpractice at $250,000. This happened months ago and it was heavily pushed by lobbying groups, doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies that just want your rights cut down.
Congressman Steve King of Iowa sponsored and pushed the bill through the House of Representatives. He recently gave an interview about his bill and why he did it. And the justification was odd.
When asked why he got interested in medical liability reform, he said he was in the construction business for 42 years and had to deal with liability that are tied to construction. He complained that unjust claims would tie him down that he thought was a waste of time to defend. The irony—most states have strict-liability for construction accidents! Meaning if it happens in a certain manner, the construction company is LIABLE. There are actually VERY FEW construction claims out there in the courts too—and when they are there, they are considered such solid cases that lawyers FIGHT over these cases. But you don’t see Sen. King fighting to restrict construction liability claims, including lowering the right of construction victims—a field that he knows. Odd, right?
When then told that medical malpractice claims and cases are at an all time low, and medical malpractice insurance premiums have been decreasing for a decade—a decade!—he was then asked why push this reform now? He answered that some states don’t have reforms, and the ones that do have it haven’t repealed the laws so they must be good. Think about that—is that a justification? Even if it hasn’t been repealed, it has actually been struck down by many states—MANY! Most prominently was Wisconsin that struck down noneconomic medical malpractice cases in a very dramatic case. So even though it hasn’t been repealed, it has actually been struck down as unconstitutional.
Hey—he’s your Congressman Iowa. But these odd explanations for pushing policies that only take away rights from victims are hurting the rest of the country. These excuses don't make sense and only take rights away. If you want to get insurance premiums down, stop committing medical malpractice!
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.