Congress Attempts to Limit Patient Rights in Medical Cases

This week, Congress will debate H.R. 1215, the “Protecting Access To Care Act.” Unfortunately despite its friendly name, the bill does very little to protect anyone’s access to care. Instead, the bill protects pharmaceutical companies and negligent nursing homes from liability for wrongful conduct.

If H.R. 1215 is allowed to pass, then people who have been wronged by defective drugs and negligent nursing home caregivers will have a difficult time obtaining justice through the legal system. The bill caps non-economic damages in these cases at $250,000, even when the defendant is found to have acted intentionally or recklessly to harm the plaintiff.

The proposed federal statute would preempt many state laws currently on the books. States that have decided not to cap damages in medical drug and device cases, for example, would become subject to the $250k cap.

The bill is explicitly written to protect pharmaceutical companies who knowingly place catastrophically defective products on the market. It would leave families whose lives have been destroyed by these products, tragically, with little recourse.

The vote on this bill is coming up soon, so if you oppose H.R. 1215, you need to make your voice heard now. Debate begins tomorrow, Tuesday, June 27, with a vote on final passage scheduled for Wednesday, June 28. Easy instructions for calling and writing your representative are available at http://takejusticeback.com. Make your voice heard. Say no to H.R. 1215.