New legislation seeks to ban lawsuits against hospitals and nursing homes
Next week, the House of Representatives will vote on a bill, H.R. 1215, that endangers the rights of everyone who gets their health insurance through Medicare or Medicaid, or Veteran’s Affairs.
That means nearly every veteran, disabled person, elderly person, and impoverished person, including children, in the country.
This bill takes away your right to file a lawsuit if your hurt by an abusive or negligent health care provider, even in cases of sexual abuse or elder neglect. This is a direct attack on your Seventh Amendment right to trial by jury.
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The Constitution guarantees all citizens the right to a trial by jury to hold the rich, powerful, and connected, responsible for their wrongdoing. It’s the very basis of our country’s legal system – power to the people.
How else would a single nursing home resident be able to fight a billion-dollar nursing home chain corporation in court? How else would the family of a child paralyzed by a dangerous medical device stand up to a healthcare giant?
Healthcare corporations – Big Pharma, hospital associations, insurance plans – spend billions of dollars every year lobbying Washington. This is the fruit of those billions. Politicians and lobbyists are rushing H.R. 1215 through Congress, hoping for as little attention as possible from the media and the public.
But this is happening right now. and you can do something about it.
Right now, calling, emailing, and writing to your representative is the most effective way for everyday citizens to change what happens on the floors of the House and Senate. Your voice can have an immediate impact on the actions of lawmakers, but only if a huge number of people act together.
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The Bill's Specifics
This bill will change every courtroom in the country, specifically by:
- Limiting compensation for injuries caused by medical professionals - including doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, and medical device manufacturers - to $250,000.00, regardless of the amount of money you have paid, or will have to pay, because of them.
- Eliminating state laws on time limits to bringing injury cases, replacing it with a federally-mandated statute of limitations that’s more restrictive than most state laws.
- Allowing insurance companies to make “payments” rather than paying victims full compensation. This lets insurance companies sit on money and pocket interest while the victim goes without.
- Forbidding you from contracting with your own attorney over fee amounts, while insurance companies and hospitals have no such restrictions.
This anti-civil justice bill has not even had so much as a hearing. Congress is hoping to get the votes by pressure from lobbyists and disinterest from the public. Yet it threatens one of the most important constitutional rights you have.
Tell your representatives to put the people first, to uphold our rights, and note NO on H.R. 1215.