Legislation. Patient Access to Health Care Services


‘’To improve patient access to health care services and provide improved medical care by reducing the excessive burden the liability system places on the health care delivery system’’ (The Library of Congress Thomas 1).

The bill is sponsored by Rep Gingrey, Phil [GA-11] and was introduced in the house on the February 13, 2009.

Bills are a form of proposed legislation like the joint resolutions, concurrent resolutions and simple resolutions passed in this country with a view to tackling the problems we face. Indeed, a study published last year confirms the fact that the current problem of the United States healthcare systems is its expensive nature (Shi and Singh 277). Ordinarily, one would not expect the United States to be faced with a challenged of this magnitude considering the great strides that the country has made in the health care sector. Nonetheless, the current system of health care needs to be improved in order for healthcare provision to be more efficient. In light of this, the bill H.R 1086 seeks to achieve this through the provisions it make. Although the bill if passed seems to have a negative impact on the medical insurance industry, it actually benefits both the industry and the consumers of their services. In it are several ways to revive the healthcare systems.

The bill

As an overview, the bill sets conditions for lawsuits arising from liability claims regarding health care goods or services. It further sets a statue of limitations of three years with provisions for exceptions from the time of aggravation. Economic damages can be fully recovered by victims while non-economic damages have limitations. Courts can limit attorneys’ payments to decreasing percentages depending on increasing value of amounts added. Evidences such as collateral source benefits and amounts for securing such benefits are allowed by this bill. The provider of such benefits is prohibited from accessing it when injury or wrongful death lawsuit is involved. Awards for punitive damages are only after proof of malicious intent and related circumstances. These damages are denied in cases where products are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Benefits

If the bill is passed, it will lead to lowering of medical insurance premiums, in effect easing the contributions made by the victims. Many people would therefore be able to afford medical cover and have the safety of receiving treatment when sick. Reduced premium rates lower the insurance companies’ profit. However, there will be more people paying the lower rates than the few who pay the higher rates, further culminating into increased profits. In addition, passing of the bill would also help in enhancing greater accountability in the healthcare system. Through the provisions made, attorneys for example, will not be able to overcharge for their services. The supposed gains in contention when cases are in court will remain relatively safe from either party’s reach until the case is ruled on.

There will be no discrimination on the provision of healthcare and therefore, the bill seeks to allow for a large number of people to access healthcare whether reach or poor. It will end cases where only the rich can be treated while the poor suffer with no access to medical cover as each of these groups of people will be treated with equality.

The bill also safeguards the insurance companies from malicious law suits and claims. It regulates the amounts paid by companies to various victims of and therefore prevents exploitation of either party by the other. The medical experts will also feel more comfortable using new drugs once approved by the FDA.

Conclusion

The interests of concerned parties in payment of healthcare services are well catered for in the bill. In a nutshell, it will lead to more people accessing affordable healthcare hence a healthy nation. A healthy nation translates to the healthy economy we desire to have and a healthy future.

Works Cited

Shi, Leiyu, and Singh, Douglas. Essentials of the U.S. health care system. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett, 2009. Print.

The library of congress Thomas. Item 11 of 65.n.d. 2010. Web.