Coble News Release
Mar 22, 2012 -
(Washington, D.C.)----As an original cosponsor of legislation to repeal a key component of ObamaCare, U.S. Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC) applauded House passage today of a bill to eliminate a bureaucratic health care rationing board and place limits on unnecessary medical lawsuits. Congressman Coble, who cosponsored H.R. 452, a bill to end the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), voted today for H.R. 5, a bill to enact medical liability reform, which includes the IPAB repeal.
"If we allow IPAB to become a reality," Rep. Coble stated, "we are looking at a board of 15 unelected bureaucrats tasked with making major Medicare cuts, which are likely to severely limit senior citizens’ access to medical treatments and health care services. Appointing an unelected and unaccountable board to cut Medicare spending will harm access to care and force health care providers to limit the number of beneficiaries they will treat or even stop participating in Medicare altogether. While I am in favor of repealing all of ObamaCare, if we have to do it piece by bureaucratic piece, I will vote for those actions as well."
Rep. Coble voted for the overall bill today, which contains major medical liability reforms. H.R. 5, which passed the House by a vote of 223-181, will ensure plaintiffs can recover full economic losses, but limits non-economic damages to $250,000. The bill establishes a fair-share rule that apportions damages on a defendant’s degree of fault. It establishes a sliding scale for attorney contingency fees to ensure patients can access legal representation without forfeiting an exorbitant share of the damages that are awarded to trial lawyers.
"Although I do not favor capping legal damage awards and attorneys fees, I made an exception in this case because it was linked to the repeal of IPAB," Rep. Coble stated. "My preference would be to leave medical malpractice reform to the individual states."
The bill will now go to the Senate where it faces an uncertain future.
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