Analysis of H.R. 5 Legislative Bill
The Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act of 2011 was proposed by Mr. Gingrey of Georgia, Mr. David Scott of Georgia, and Mr. Smith of Texas on the 24th of January, 2011 as a congressional bill. It was then referred to as H.R. 5 (Govtrack.us, 2013).
The bill on introduction was referred by the speaker to the Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on Energy and Commerce as the jurisdictions required would fall under these committees. On March 22nd, 2012, the abovementioned bill was passed by the house. However, it was never passed by the senate as required of congressional bills (Govtrack.us, 2013).
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The major intent of the bill’s introduction was to ameliorate the accessibility of healthcare services to patients as well as improving the legal processes that follow lawsuits on healthcare cases. The liabilities incurred from preexisting legislature shifted losses on the part of the citizen through the federal government and the citizen’s taxes as well. The effect was not only economic, but also non-pecuniary. There were less effective health care services being provided than there would be if the bill is enacted. This bill was, therefore, timely. It was introduced at a period when there was much debate on Medicare and other healthcare bills. Therefore, it received much attention in debate, despite not being passed by senate (Gpo.gov, 2013).
Economic Impact of H.R. 5
On analysis, congress established that the existing state of affairs created an environment where there are high costs being claimed for health care cases and premiums for liability insurance, which was purchased by the providers of health care.
In addition, it was found that there is increased federal expenditure, which implicates the tax-payer’s pockets. This happened, because the federal government is responsible for settling health care bills for a large number of people. On making claims that such people would implicate the general economy. Therefore, enforcement of a law that would regulate such circumstances would come in handy so that those doing foul play do not have room to extort funds while oppressing more needy conditions. The federal government caters for persons who receive healthcare benefits under the various programs that have been established by the federal government. These include those programs that affect military personnel and direct government employees, among others. Secondly, individuals who have tax exclusions also benefit from the federal government’s spending through being catered for on insurance policies and other benefits. Finally, there are many individuals who rely on the government to make payments for them even on lawsuit matters (Gpo.gov, 2013).
Therefore, on enacting the bill, there would be improved cost containment as there would be better methods of accountability. The costs would reduce significantly, and it was speculated that the provisions of the bill would also favor the less economic stable. Since most of the time such people shun from making claims with the fear that they would lose, and there would be an additional cost of paying for the legal services of the advocates. The bill on this matter provides percentages that should be paid and should be given to the claimant. The bill also provides that the court should oversee the payment of such claims in case there is a conflict of interest between the parties (Govtrack.us, 2013).
Equity of Resource Allocation in the Current U.S. Healthcare Delivery Model
Current equity in resource allocation with regards to healthcare delivery is quite elaborate. The Medicare bill has been existent since the 1970s. It caters for various medical issues that could arise. It has been amended many times in the past to accommodate effective changes. The bill has sections and subsections addressing the various matters of interest. One of them is the issue of healthcare insurance, where regulations have been put down on how the insurance providers should act and responsibilities of the insured as well. In addition, current bill provides for conduct on congenital diseases in section D. Such case requires special attention as they often are not of a person’s doing (Gpo.gov, 2013).
However, the existing bills failed to articulate on procedures relating to lawsuits. They were quite sketchy at most hence there was the need to introduce the bill in discussion. The role of healthcare providers, healthcare organizations, healthcare goods and services providers, and even the state were not clear. The act clarifies these cases. It also provides on punitive damages, collaterals, non-pecuniary and legal fees in the case of a successful claim in monetary value among other conditions (Gpo.gov, 2013).
Impact of H.R. 5on Administrative Resources
Administrative resources in this case refer to the judiciary, health care providers, health care organizations, and food and drugs goods as well as services providers. A main intention of the introduction of the bill was in order to champion for the speedy resolution of cases. It provides that the commencement of a lawsuit shall be three years after the date when the injury was manifested or one year after the person claiming finds out about the injury. This provision was put in place in order to reduce the backlog in healthcare cases that the courts had been having. Therefore, claimants can be attended to meeting the requirement of justice as stipulated in the constitution (Govtrack.us, 2013).
There are exceptions to the rule provided such as when there is proof of fraud, when there is a foreign body in the claimant that has no established therapeutic or diagnostic effect or when some details have been concealed intentionally. These provisions are those that would make a case unattended to within the three year timeline provided (Govtrack.us, 2013).
In order to maximize on patient recovery, the bill provided that the courts shall take a supervisory role on the share of damages that are paid to claimants.
On the matter of compensations, the bill provided that for non-economic damages, a maximum of $250,000 shall be paid to the relevant parties irrespective of the number of parties in the claim. However, on economic damages the limit in the amount compensated was not set. It was indicated that the compensation would be proportional, and nothing in the bill shall limit a recovery of the claimant’s full amount.
On punitive damages, the bill provided that evidence should be presented to support such claims. These come when there is a malicious intent by the defendant to risk the life of the claimant. For instance, if the defendant gave a wrong prescription that would cause deterioration in the health of the claimant or advocated for the release of life supporting machines when there was clear hope for the survival of the claimant. The bill also provides criteria for determining the amount that shall be charged for punitive damages. It includes the extent of the harm caused, the period through which the damage occurred and whether there was any way that it was concealed, and the lucrativeness of conduct to the defendant among others (Gpo.gov, 2013).
On the part of food and drug products and services providers, such persons would be persecuted in the MSDS provided in their products and was misguiding such that the claims shifts form the health care provider to the drug or food provider. However, the persecution would not suffice in the event the product was approved by the Food and Drugs Authority. This would mean that it is upon the authority to confirm its criteria for approval. Interestingly, in some cases a health care provider would bribe such authorities to approve the sale of a drug or food. If such intent is established, then the health care provider is persecuted (Gpo.gov, 2013).
Impact of H.R. 5 if Passedon the Role of Nurses
Nurses fall under the category of health care providers. If the bill in discussion is passed, it would require that they become more vigilant in their practice since they could be arrested if they endanger the lives of a patient (Govtrack.us, 2013).
In addition, nurses should be prompt in addressing physicians and notifying them in case they suspect a possible error. Nurses are the people who have the most contact with the patient. In order to mitigate the complexities of lawsuits, they could instead monitor the drug responses and the feelings of the patients in order to improve decision making.
The nurses would be required to comply fully with the law. At no circumstance should they conceal information that would be useful in court. If they do so, they will aggravate the matter. They should also act with legal advice from an advocate of the courts.
In my opinion, the bill will be passed. The law is a reflection of the values of the society. In the event, the bill is not enacted; there would be a lot of malpractices. Lawyers would extort fees from their clients in case a suit has been successful, leading to a condition where the poor suffer under the feet of the successful. It is in the American dream that there should be justice and freedom. The described case is not a reflection of justice and a hindrance to freedom (Levsey, Campbell, & Green, 2007).
Secondly, the bill if enacted would allow for cases to be heard in due time (Gpo.gov, 2013). This would also ensure that there is justice. It would ensure that organizations and even individuals who have been doing bad practice are taken under the law, and the rights of the citizens are safeguarded. If the bill is not passed, the rich and mighty will be able to manipulate systems leading to anarchy.
The medical field required precision since it is human life that is being dealt with. The enactment of this bill will ensure that there is vigilance among the practitioners.
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