Sunday, October 26th, 2014

GOP Pledge-O-Meter

Enact medical liability reform


Will "enact common-sense medical liability reforms to lower costs, rein in junk lawsuits and curb defensive medicine."


Updates

Reform bill passed House, stuck in Senate

In March 2012, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed the Protecting Access to Healthcare Act, which would "impose caps on some damages awarded in malpractice lawsuits, limit attorneys" fees and establish a statute of limitations for filing health care lawsuits,” according to Congressional Quarterly.

The vote largely followed party lines, with seven Democrats supporting it and only 10 Republicans opposed.

The bill included a provision that was important to Republicans -- a repeal of the Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB, which was created in the health care law to limit the growth of Medicare spending. It's been widely derided by Republicans, who have said it could lead to federal bureaucrats making health care decisions (a claim PolitiFact has rated False).

Like other efforts to repeal the health care law, the Republicans have succeeded in the House but been blocked in the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats. We'll keep an eye on this in the unlikely event there is action this year, but for now we rate this Promise Broken.

Sources:

THOMAS, Protecting Access to Healthcare Act, introduced Jan. 24, 2011

Congressional Quarterly, "House Republicans Successfully Combine and Pass Medical Malpractice Restrictions, IPAB Repeal Bill,” March 26, 2012

Email interview with Adam Jentleson, spokesman for Sen. Harry Reid, July 20, 2012