It didn’t receive much notice in the press but the US Senate gave consumers an important Christmas present when they voted no on a measure that would have capped fees in medical malpractice cases. HB 3590 was soundly defeated 66-32 because Senators determined the so-called “tort reform” arguments weren’t accurate. For years, these groups have argued that healthcare reform begins by stopping medical malpractice lawsuits. They reasoned that the best way to stop the lawsuits was to put caps on lawyers’ fees. Yet, in states where there are caps on such cases, healthcare costs have continued to skyrocket and insurance premiums have continued to rise at an unprecedented pace.
In voting down this bad bill, US Senators stood up for victims of medical malpractice. Even the poorest victims of medical malpractice will be able to receive medical treatment and pursue justice in the courtroom. Medical malpractice attorneys will continue to represent victims and fight for their rights in court.
Real healthcare reform begins with accountability, transparency, and a concerted effort to improve patient safety. The US Senate recognized this and did the right thing. Let’s hope this is a trend that will continue to bring improvement to our healthcare system.
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