H.R. 5 - Help Efficient, Accessible, Low Cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act of 2003

COMMITTEE ACTION: REPORTED BY A VOICE VOTE on Wednesday, March 12, 2003.
FLOOR ACTION: ADOPTED BY A RECORD VOTE OF 225-201, AFTER AGREEING ON THE PREVIOUS QUESTION BY A VOTE OF 225-201 on Thursday, March 13, 2003.
MANAGERS: REYNOLDS/HASTINGS (FL)
108th Congress
1st Session

H.R. 5 - Help Efficient, Accessible, Low Cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act of 2003

1. Closed rule.

2. Provides two hours of debate in the House, with 80 minutes equally divided and controlled by the chairman and ranking minority member of the Committee on the Judiciary and 40 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 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.

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

6. Provides that H. Res. 126 is laid on the table.

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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. 5) 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) two hours of debate on the bill, as amended, with 80 minutes equally divided and controlled by the chairman and ranking minority member of the Committee on the Judiciary and 40 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.

Sec. 2 House Resolution 126 is laid on the table.


SUMMARY OF AMENDMENT TO BE CONSIDERED AS ADOPTED (.pdf)

Sensenbrenner/Tauzin #22

Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute. Includes a 3 year statute of limitations with certain exceptions for minors, fraud, intentional concealment and the presence of a foreign body; a $250,000 cap on non-economic damages and a "fair share" rule, by which damages are allocated fairly, in direct proportion to fault; a sliding scale limits on the contingency fees lawyers can charge; authorization for defendants to introduce evidence showing the plaintiff received compensation for losses from outside sources (to prevent double recoveries); guidelines for the award of punitive damages, including guidelines for punitive damages awards not to exceed the greater of $250,000 or twice economic damages; a safe harbor from punitive damages for products that meet applicable FDA safety requirements, with exceptions for cases in which information required to be given to the FDA was withheld and cases in which illegal payments were made to the FDA; protections of pharmacists and doctors from being named in lawsuits for forum-shopping purposes; authorization for courts to require periodic payments for future damages; except as provided in the Act nothing in the Act shall affect any defense available to a defendant in a health care lawsuit or action under any other provision of federal law; a savings clause that saves from preemption state laws that limit damages to specific amounts.


TEXT OF THE AMENDMENT TO BE CONSIDERED AS ADOPTED(.pdf)