Blog readers are aware that Congressional hearings were conducted this week related to the federal bill known as H.R. 5-a unnecessary, illogical piece of legislation that was recently introduced in the House of Representatives. The bill is officially known as the “Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-Cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act of 2011.”
This legislation would impose arbitrary caps on damages-taking away that decision from juries. On top of that, changes in statutes of limitation, pleading standards, and other areas would do immense damage to the rights of Illinois injury victims. Recently another major national organization joined the chorus of those advocating against the bill
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) sent a letter to the Congressional committee regarding the bill. The letter clearly outlined the group’s concerns and stated unequivocally that there was “strong bipartisan opposition to the passage of the latest federal medical malpractice legislation.”
The group pointed out that H.R. 5 would do direct damage to the rights of each state to make their own decisions in these matters. A one-size-fits-all approach to medical malpractice laws would essentially take even more power away from state legislatures and give it back to the federal government.
Attacks on states’ rights are in direct contrast to the important American tradition of federalism. Conservative thinkers rightly point out that the foundation of the country is steeped in the ability of individual states to decide their own unique policies. In that way, states act as “laboratories” where public issues are tested and the results available for all to view when considering their own decisions. H.R. 5 rejects that diversity. Instead, it ignores states’ right, preempts local laws, and cedes even more power to far-away federal decision-makers.
Our Chicago injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti reject the illogical arguments made by proponents of this law. It is important to hold our legislators accountable for the principles that they stand on. For example, all those lawmakers who have stated their support for federalism should remain steadfastly against this latest encroachment on that principle. Our Illinois medical malpractice attorneys will continue to spread the truth about H.R. 5, and encourage others to do the same.
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