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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Expand Access to Health Care, Don’t Block Access to Justice

Today, Alliance for Justice joins consumer and public interest groups in an open letter to congress.

The ad, below will run in Politico, Roll Call, and The Hill. The letter urges Congress to reject any measures that limit patients’ legal rights, including measures that would force them into unfair “alternative” legal systems.

The current Senate Finance Committee health care bill contains language encouraging states to explore alternative litigation systems. Moreover, some conservative members of Congress have stated they will try to even further limit the legal rights of patients with “caps” on compensation and other “tort reforms.” Yet, studies show that malpractice costs are a tiny fraction of health care costs, and limiting Americans' ability to seek justice would have no impact lowering the country's overall health care expenditures.

The facts are clear. Limiting or severely restricting the ability to file a claim in court for medical malpractice denies justice to injured individuals while benefiting big corporations' balance sheets.

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