Hilda Solis

Medical Malpractice Legislation - July 27, 2005

Hilda Solis
July 27, 2005— Washington, D.C.
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Mr. Speaker, I would like to debunk a couple of myths that we will probably hear today driving the debate over medical malpractice, H.R. 5.

Myth number 1: There is an explosion of malpractice lawsuits that are driving up premiums. Not true. A study by Kaiser Family Foundation found that lawsuits are not the cause of doctors' high premiums. In fact, another recent study found that insurers increased their premiums while claims went down.

Myth number 2: Malpractice lawsuits are the cause of rising health care costs. Not true. According to the CBO, malpractice costs amount to less than 2 percent of overall health care spending. Thus, even a reduction of 25 to 30 percent in malpractice costs would lower health care costs by a minuscule 5 percent.

Myth number 3: The malpractice bill is about weeding out frivolous lawsuits. Not true. The proposed limits on damages would apply to all cases, no matter how serious the injury was or how egregious by the doctor, hospital, nursing home, or drug manufacturer.

Any time we are talking about taking away the rights of Americans, you have to be measured and cautious, something House Republicans are unwilling to do.

I urge my colleagues to vote "no" on H.R. 5.