RECENT VOTES

The Protecting Access to Care Act is Really the Blocking Access to Courts Act

On Wednesday, June 28 2017, the House considered H.R. 1215, the Protecting Access to Health Care Act of 2017. Iím sure it doesnít come as a surprise to you that the title of this legislation is misleading. It doesnít protect access to health care. Instead, H.R. 1215 makes it harder for patients and families who have been injured or lost a loved one due to medical negligence to seek justice through our legal system. It establishes a three year statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims, which is shorter than what most states currently allow. This legislation also infringes on statesí rights by preempting certain state laws. In fact, it forces federal rules for medical malpractice on every state. H.R. 1215 also prohibits a plaintiff from naming both a health care provider and a drug company in the same suit. The New England Compounding cases could not have advanced if this bill were law. The practical effect of H.R. 1215 is to create immunity from lawsuits for health care companies. The bill is broadly drawn so its definition of health care provider would also include insurance companies, biotechnology companies, pharmaceutical corporations, medical device manufacturers, compounding pharmacies and even for-profit nursing homes, making it far more expansive than any existing state medical malpractice law. I voted NO. H.R. 1215 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

218

19

0

4

DEMOCRAT

0

191

0

2

TOTAL

218

210

0

6

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0