Letter to the Editor: Not just to please lawyers; patients have rights too

Indianapolis Star
Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Russ Pulliam’s Dec. 4 column, “Health-care remedies from the pros,” seemed to suggest that the only reason Congress is rejecting federal limits on the legal rights of patients as part of health-care reform is to please lawyers. But this is contrary to facts.
First, consumer and patient safety groups strongly oppose any measure that would take away money that is needed by catastrophically injured patients, including children.
Moreover, such proposals would do nothing to reduce overall health-care costs and would lead to more errors as the accountability of unsafe hospitals is reduced.
Second, Senate opposition to these measures is forceful and bipartisan. Even the vote on Dec. 6 on an amendment to limit attorney’s fees was rejected by a bipartisan 66-to-32 vote.
Clearly, there is widespread opposition to any bill that would federalize and weaken patients’ rights.

Andy Hoffman
Attorney/Policy Analyst, Center for Justice&Democracy
New York

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