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Patients rights groups oppose federal legislation that limits compensation for injury

Many patients’ rights groups are criticizing a measure that passed in the U.S. House of Representatives last week, which would restrict patients’ ability to pursue claims against negligent medical providers, including drug and medical device manufacturers.

According to Public Citizen, H.R. 5, the Protecting Access to Healthcare (PATH) Act, imposes an arbitrary $250,000 cap on non-economic damages, which would have a disproportionate impact on those with little or no earned income, such as children, full-time mothers and seniors.

Conservative groups such as the Heritage Foundation have also taken exception to the legislation because of it would significantly override state rights. The measure would dismiss longstanding state laws on medical malpractice liability, including policies that have held that certain liability restrictions violate their state constitutions.

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