CBO estimates H.R. 5 would reduce deficit by $57 billion over 10 years

Enacting the medical liability reforms included in the HEALTH Act (H.R. 5) would reduce deficits by almost $14 billion through 2016 and $57 billion through 2021, according to new estimates by the Congressional Budget Office. In addition, CBO estimates the AHA-supported legislation would reduce discretionary spending for the Federal Employees Health Benefits program and departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs by about $2 billion through 2021. H.R. 5 would establish a three-year statute of limitations for most medical liability claims; cap non-economic and punitive damages; limit defendants’ liability to their share of responsibility for the injury; limit lawyer contingency fees; establish a safe harbor from punitive damages for products that meet applicable Food and Drug Administration safety requirements; and permit evidence of income from sources such as life insurance payouts and health insurance at trial. The estimate was requested by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which approved the bill on May 11.

05-26-2011 06:25 (EDT)