Our Chicago nursing home lawyers have been keeping a close eye on the advance of a bill know as the HEALTH Act or H.R. 5 since its introduction in Congress this spring. As we have frequently explained on this blog, the measure would strike a damaging blow to the rights of all those have been injured by those who are responsible for making them well, including doctors, nurses, and nursing home care workers.
Various provisions in the bill are targeted at limiting the amount of recovery that victims can seek and making procedural changes so that negligent companies and hospitals would not have to face any accountability for their actions. It’s clear that all Illinois nursing home abuse victims would be ill served by the measure.
Unsurprisingly, considering the damage the bill will cause, the arguments being made in its favor are often seeping with misstatements and hypocrisy. As Gibson Vance explained in a letter published by Roll Call, this tort reform measure would be binding on all states, regardless of how that state has previously decided matters of this sort. In this way it represents a clear affront to federalist principles, which is surprising considering that it is being pushed by the very legislators who so often believe that the federal government oversteps its bounds of power.
For example, many of those claim that the comprehensive Affordable Care Act-Obamacare-is unconstitutional because Congress lacks the ability to pass such a measure pursuant to the Commerce Clause. Yet it is the same clause in the constitution that those advocates believe allows them to force all states to act pursuant to their wishes with mandates like those in H.R. 5.
Historically, issues related to the justice system and Illinois nursing home lawsuits have always been decided by the actual state representatives from Illinois. It remains disheartening that those legislators who so often champion states rights are now turning a blind eye to their principles. The very sponsor of this bill has repeatedly criticized laws that present a “Washington knows best” approach to lawmaking. But apparently he is able to forget that principle when it suits a particular need. This hypocrisy is one of the key reasons why bipartisan groups like the National Conference of State Legislatures are staunchly opposed to H.R. 5.
Our Chicago personal injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti know that victims of inadequate care should remain protected fairly under the law. Please keep a close eye on the progress of H.R. 5 and take action to defeat this downright dangerous legislation.
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