H.R. 4600 - Help Efficient, Accessible, Low Cost, Timely Health Care (HEALTH) Act of 2002

COMMITTEE ACTION: REPORTED BY RECORD VOTE of 9 to 2 on Wednesday, September 25, 2002.
FLOOR ACTION:ADOPTED BY RECORD VOTE of 221-197 on Thursday, September 26, 2002.
MANAGERS: REYNOLDS/HASTINGS (FL)
107th Congress
2nd Session

H.R. 4600 - Help Efficient, Accessible, Low Cost, Timely Health Care (HEALTH) Act of 2002

1. Closed rule.

2. Provides one hour of debate in the House on the bill, with 40 minutes equally divided and controlled by the chairman and ranking minority member of the Committee on the Judiciary and 20 minutes equally divided and controlled by the chairman and ranking minority member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

3. Waives all points of order against consideration of the bill.

4. Provides that the bill shall be considered as read for amendment.

5. Provides that in lieu of the amendments recommended by the Committees on the Judiciary and on Energy and Commerce now printed in the bill, the amendment in the nature of a substitute printed in the Rules Committee report shall be considered as adopted.

6. Provides one motion to recommit with or without instructions.

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RESOLUTION

Resolved, That upon the adoption of this resolution it shall be in order without intervention of any point of order to consider in the House the bill (H.R. 4600) to improve patient access to health care services and provide improved medical care by reducing the excessive burden the liability system places on the health care delivery system. The bill shall be considered as read for amendment. In lieu of the amendments recommended by the Committees on the Judiciary and on Energy and Commerce now printed in the bill, the amendment in the nature of a substitute printed in the report of the Committee on Rules accompanying this resolution shall be considered as adopted. The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill, as amended, to final passage without intervening motion except: (1) one hour of debate on the bill, as amended, with 40 minutes equally divided and controlled by the chairman and ranking minority member of the Committee on the Judiciary and 20 minutes equally divided and controlled by the chairman and ranking minority member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce; and (2) one motion to recommit with or without instructions.


SUMMARY OF AMENDMENT CONSIDERED AS ADOPTED

Substitute Amendment
Amendment to Section 3. This amendment clarifies the underlying bill so that the statute of limitations is 3 years from the date of manifestation of the injury or one year after that claimant discovers, or through the use of reasonable diligence should have discovered the injury, which ever occurs first. The amendment also makes this section consistent with California state law, which is the model for the underlying bill by providing an exception to the 3-year limitation in instances of fraud, intentional concealment, or the presence of a foreign body that has no therapeutic effect.

Amendment to Section 7. This amendment clarifies the underlying bill by providing a substantial compliance test for firms whose products have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This ensures that if the manufacturing and distribution of a medical product was not in compliance with the FDA regulations than it may be subject to punitive damages in a health care lawsuit, as defined in the bill.

Amendment to Section 6. This amendment clarifies the underlying bill so that it does not apply to two sections of the Social Security Act.

Amendment to Section 13. This amendment is a sense of Congress resolution that a health insurer should be liable for damages for harm caused when it makes a decision as to what care is medically necessary and appropriate.

TEXT OF AMENDMENT CONSIDERED AS ADOPTED (.pdf)