Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle (NY-25) has signed on as a cosponsor for H.R. 5 the Help, Efficient, Accessible, Low-cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act of 2011. This major medical liability reform bill was introduced by Congressman Phil Gingrey (GA), Chairman of the GOP Doctor's Caucus. Congresswoman Buerkle is a member of the Doctors Caucus.
The HEALTH Act of 2011 legislation moves to enact reform of medical malpractice liability that allows for frivolous lawsuits against medical providers. With the overwhelming costs of medical malpractice driving physicians to practice defensive medicine, the associated costs of healthcare have skyrocketed. Congresswoman Buerkle commented, "Torte reform is an essential piece of any true health care reform. Until we begin to control the costs driven by litigation of malpractice suits we cannot truly reform healthcare in the U.S."
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the result of doctors practicing defensive medicine costs the health care industry between $70 billion and $126 billion annually.
"As a nurse and an Assistant New York State Attorney General representing a major medical university hospital I have seen how these gratuitous lawsuits drive up the cost of coverage by physicians and administrators reacting defensively. This legislation is critical to the future face of healthcare. "