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Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-Cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act of 2005

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


HELP EFFICIENT, ACCESSIBLE, LOW-COST, TIMELY HEALTHCARE (HEALTH) ACT OF 2005 -- (House of Representatives - July 28, 2005)

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Mr. CHABOT. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for his leadership on this bill. I rise in strong support of the bill, and I would urge my colleagues to support it.

The costs of the tort system continue to take their toll on the Nation's economy. Medical professional liability insurance rates have skyrocketed, causing major insurers to drop coverage or raise premiums to unaffordable levels. We have heard case after case where this last occurred nationwide. In fact, in my home State of Ohio, it has been designated as a "crisis State" by the American Medical Association.

According to some estimates, premiums are now rising in Ohio anywhere from 10 percent to 40 percent, with many doctors involved in specialty practices such as obstetrics seeing their premiums rise by 100 percent, 100 percent or, in some cases, even more. Obviously, this has a negative impact on both patients and doctors, causing higher costs and forcing many doctors to close their practices.

The HEALTH Act, this act that we are debating here this afternoon, addresses this crisis by eliminating frivolous lawsuits and making health care more accessible and more affordable. We have been talking about doing that for years. This is a bill where we can actually do something about making health more affordable.

The HEALTH Act has enjoyed strong support in the House of Representatives in past Congresses, and I strongly urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this commonsense legislation if they are serious about bringing the high cost of health care in this country down to affordable levels.

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