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Hall Votes for PATH Act: Medical Malpractice Reform and Protecting Doctor-Patient Relationship


Location: Washington, DC

Yesterday Rep. Ralph Hall (TX-04) voted with a House majority to pass H.R. 5, the Protecting Access to Healthcare Act, or PATH Act, 223-181. This bill would reform medical malpractice and would also repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) outlined in the President's health care overhaul signed into law two years ago on March 23, 2010.

"Throughout the health care debate Republicans warned the President's health care law would cost significantly more than estimated," said Hall. "The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office recently confirmed the accuracy of this prediction - the President's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is now estimated to cost more than double its original $900 billion price tag, and is projected to climb higher in coming years."

Hall continued, "Big government and big spending are not the answer to solving the health care challenges facing America. While I continue to fight for full repeal of the President's health care law, I am pleased that the PATH Act is a step in the right direction. This bill would not only save billions of taxpayer dollars, but also save Americans' freedom of choice and potentially save lives.The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the reforms in the PATH Act would reduce the deficit by more than $45 billion over the next ten years, and that premiums for medical malpractice insurance would be an average of 25-30% lower than they would be under current law.

"The PATH Act ensures plaintiffs can recover 100% of their economic loss, meaning anything to which a receipt can be attached. This includes lost wages or home services, medical costs, costs of pain-reducing drugs, therapy, lifetime rehabilitation care, and other out-of-pocket costs. Regarding noneconomic damages, a plaintiff's compensation is capped at $250,000. This bill does not preempt any State law that otherwise caps damages.

"The PATH Act would also repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) outlined in the President's health care law. The IPAB is made up of 15 unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats appointed by the President, whose sole job is to cut Medicare spending in years when it is deemed 'too high.' These cuts will likely lead to severely limited senior access to treatments and services.

"No bureaucrat should ever get in the way of patients and their doctors. I believe it is important to put the American people in control of their own personal health care choices. I support the doctor-patient decision-making system, not a government-bureaucrat system.

"We are making continued progress in our continued effort to repeal Obama's health care law. Congress has a responsibility to honestly address the health care challenges facing America. We need to work to increase health care quality, access, and affordability, and achieve these necessary reforms without higher taxes, higher costs, individual mandates, or a government takeover of health care. It is vital that we preserve the sustainability of Medicare for our seniors, and I will continue to work toward this goal."

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