The bill H.R. 1215: Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017 was passed in the house in June 2017 (“H.R. 1215: Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017,” 2017). The sponsor is Steve King, the representative for Iowa’s fourth congressional district. He is a Republican. The bill will introduce a$250,000 cap on damages associated with possible lawsuits. The cap will be imposed for the so-called non-economic damages as salary losses, and healthcare costs will not be covered by this bill.
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Supporters and Opponents
The supporters of the bill are Republicans who claim that the bill will address issues related to defensive medicine. Healthcare professionals will order fewer tests as they will have fewer concerns about possible lawsuits. The Republicans support the bill as they focus on reducing budget spending. The opponents are mainly Democrats who argue that the bill is harmful especially for the most vulnerable groups (the elderly, women, children) who are unable to provide evidence of their salary losses. Democrats tend to support bills that help people (especially groups vulnerable in terms of their socio-economic status) seek governmental support if some of their rights have been violated.
I would support the bill although I think it should be followed by various other policies and laws that address defensive medicine issues. It is reported that 75% of doctors admit that they order more tests than are needed, which costs up to $650 billion per year (Scherz & Oliver, 2013). I have faced many challenges associated with possible accusations of malpractice, which negatively affected my performance and motivation. Healthcare professionals are under significant pressure that prevents them from doing their jobs well, and the decrease of potential losses for healthcare facilities can reduce this pressure.
H.R. 1215: Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017. (2017). Web.
Scherz, H., & Oliver, W. (2013). Defensive medicine: A cure worse than the Disease. Forbes. Web.