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Protecting Access To Healthcare Act

Rep. Steve Israel

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Mr. Chair, I rise today to speak in opposition to the Protecting Access to Healthcare Act.

The Protecting Access to Healthcare Act is a wolf in sheep's clothing. Unfortunately, this bill is a blatant attempt to protect the profits of special interests and restrict the rights of patients. The facts are right on the pages in black and white. H.R. 5 reduces access to courts for individuals injured by medical negligence like removing the wrong leg, faulty medical devices or dangerous drugs. It imposes a one size fits all approach on the damages in medical negligence cases and goes further than any state law in place today.

In fact, H.R. 5 includes provisions that violate States' rights by mandating a federal cap on all fifty states for medical liability. By including this poison pill, the House Republicans have prevented consensus in the House on changes to the Independent Payment Advisory Board. The American people want Congress to focus on commonsense, bipartisan legislation, but the House Republicans refuse. It appears some Members on the other side of the aisle won't stop until they abolish healthcare for all people, and especially low-income individuals, women and seniors. They can try to hide behind any piece of legislation they want, but they can't hide from the facts: their goal is to end the Medicare guarantee and increase costs for seniors.

I will continue to urge my Republican colleagues to stop their war on women and seniors, I will continue to protect quality healthcare for Americans and I will continue to push for compromise in the House of Representatives.