House Passes Measure to Limit Med-Mal Practice Awards

The House has passed a measure to limit the pain-and-suffering damages that juries may award in medical malpractice suits as lawmakers seached for a means to quell increasing malpractice insurance rates, according to the Associated Press.

The 217-203 vote came following a long debate that included stories of doctors who were required to quit their practices or relocate due to growing insurance costs.

The bill must now look at an uncertain future in the Democratic-controlled Senate, which has already said no to a similar measure.

Democrats questioned whether the legislation would in fact be a gain for insurers after Republicans turned away Democratic attempts to require that savings be used to lower malpractice insurance premiums. They argue that the bill will be of minimal help to patients.