Huffpost Politics
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Rep. Bruce Braley Headshot

Patients Beware

Posted: Updated:

The House is considering a bill that puts the federal government in between patients and their doctors. It's a bill that gives unprecedented power to the federal government. It could result in the federal government preempting State Constitutions. And many have argued that the federal government overreach in this bill even violates the United States Constitution.

No, I'm not talking about Obamacare. I'm talking about the latest "tort reform" bill that was passed out of the House today, which is bad for patients, bad for families, could overturn State Constitutional provisions, and violates two amendments in the Bill of Rights.

The Seventh Amendment preserves our right to jury trials. The Tenth Amendment allows the states to run their own court systems. Under H.R. 5, these rights are turned on their heads. If you are injured, who would you rather have determining your fate? A jury of your peers who have heard every detail of the case; or 435 Washington politicians who have no knowledge of you, your situation, or your injury?

This bill even includes hard caps on damages for those who have been injured, or the families of those who have been killed. We're not talking about "frivolous lawsuits" here -- we're talking about cases where it's already been determined that an injury did occur. The people most harmed by caps like this are seniors, children, and stay-at-home Moms -- individuals or families who have been injured and who are suffering.

Take a moment and watch my floor speech opposing this bill: