Finally, the long promised Republican alternative to Obamacare! Yesterday, the Republican-controlled House spent most of the day debating H.R.5- their self-named "HEALTH" bill!
Well, to save you the trouble, Green Eagle read the text of the bill. Here is what it features:
1. Cutting the time patients have to file malpractice lawsuits.
2. Limiting punitive damage to $250,000, an utterly meaningless amount when the defendant is a huge health care company or pharmaceutical manufacturer.
3. "In particular, in any health care lawsuit in which the attorney for a party claims a financial stake in the outcome by virtue of a contingent fee, the court shall have the power to restrict the payment of a claimant’s damage recovery to such attorney"
I.e. making it impossible for plaintiff's attorneys to take cases on a contingent fee basis, requiring plaintiffs to bear for years the often multimillion dollar costs of suing a corporation up front. This has been an element of "tort reform" since the very beginning, and is designed to make it impossible for individuals to sue companies.
4. "Punitive damages may, if otherwise permitted by applicable State or Federal law, be awarded against any person in a health care lawsuit only if it is proven by clear and convincing evidence that such person acted with malicious intent to injure the claimant"
Something that makes it virtually impossible to recover punitive damages against pharmaceutical manufacturers, since nothing they have done, however malicious, could be interpreted as being motivated by an intent to injure that specific claimant.
5. "No demand for punitive damages shall be included in a health care lawsuit as initially filed. A court may allow a claimant to file an amended pleading for punitive damages only upon a motion by the claimant and after a finding by the court..."
Thus vastly increasing the cost of filing a malpractice lawsuit.
Well, there you go...claiming to be passing legislation to improve health care, the Republicans are doing nothing but attempting to achieve their decades-old goal of "tort reform," which as I have pointed out before, is nothing but an attempt to make it impossible for ordinary people to seek legal redress against the rich. Republicans are nothing but criminals- every single one of them- and they all belong in prison, alongside their rich masters.
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