Expansion Of Medical Malpractice Liability
strongly opposes proposals which would expand medical liability to
include employers and health plans.
Explanation: NCCBI opposes
expansion of medical liability to employers and health plans for
several reasons. First of all, the threat of lawsuits would discourage
many employers from offering insurance at all, thereby leaving
millions of Americans uninsured. According to a U.S. Chamber of
Commerce study conducted in February, 1998, 57 % of employers say they
would be likely to stop providing health care coverage for their
employees and dependents if expanded liability is passed.
Secondly, expansion of
medical liability goes against the business community's long-standing
support for tort reform because it would only create more expensive
lawsuits and court delays. A New York Times editorial in April, 1998
says "jury awards in state courts for malpractice are notoriously
capricious and do more to reward lawyers than patients."
Lastly, NCCBI opposes
expanding this liability to health plans because, under current ERISA
law, a patient can already sue his/her health plan in federal court,
and the court may award attorney's fees, court costs, and the value of
the benefit denied.
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