/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Health Coalition on Liability and Access today endorsed legislation introduced in the House of Representatives that will curb medical lawsuit abuse and help ensure continued patient access to care.
Oppose federal preemption of state civil justice reforms
For decades, even before Texas passed our landmark medical liability reforms in 2003, medicine has pushed the U.S. Congress to enact national liability reforms based on the Texas and California models. This is a highly partisan issue. Over the years, a number of bills have passed the Republican-controlled House of Representatives only to die in the Senate, where personal injury trial lawyers have heavy influence.
TMA supports the enactment of fair, federal medical liability reforms because we know the very positive effect of the 2003 Texas reforms: better access to care because of the growing number of physicians relocating to Texas.
On the other hand, TMA and other state medical societies also have been extremely diligent in ensuring that any national legislation under consideration — including pushes for federal tort reform — doesn’t reverse or supersede stronger laws already on the books in state capitals around the country. Physicians also remain vigilant about laws that would, intentionally or not, introduce new legal reasons — known as “causes of action” — for people to sue physicians.
Both of those issues came to play during the 2009 congressional debate over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Several members of the Texas delegation in Washington took steps to make certain that the PPACA would neither overstep Texas’ liability reforms nor create new causes of action against physicians.