H.R. 5 (109th): Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act of 2005

Jul 21, 2005 (109th Congress, 2005–2006)
Died (Passed House)
Phil Gingrey
Representative for Georgia's 11th congressional district
Read Text »
Last Updated
Jul 29, 2005
26 pages
Related Bills
H.R. 2580 (110th) was a re-introduction of this bill in a later Congress.

Referred to Committee
Last Action: Jun 06, 2007

H.R. 534 (identical)

Referred to Committee
Last Action: Feb 02, 2005


This bill was introduced in a previous session of Congress and was passed by the House on July 28, 2005 but was never passed by the Senate.

Introduced Jul 21, 2005
Referred to Committee Jul 21, 2005
Passed House Jul 28, 2005
Full Title

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.


No summaries available.

Jul 28, 2005 4:40 p.m.
Passed 230/194

63 cosponsors (60R, 3D) (show)

House Energy and Commerce


House Judiciary

Senate Judiciary

The committee chair determines whether a bill will move past the committee stage.

Primary Source

THOMAS.gov (The Library of Congress)

GovTrack gets most information from THOMAS, which is updated generally one day after events occur. Activity since the last update may not be reflected here. Data comes via the congress project.


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H.R. stands for House of Representatives bill.

A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and then be signed by the president to become law.

The bill’s title was written by its sponsor.

GovTrack’s Bill Summary

We don’t have a summary available yet.

Library of Congress Summary

The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.

7/28/2005--Passed House without amendment.
Help Efficient, Accessible, Low Cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act of 2005 - Sets forth provisions regulating lawsuits for health care liability claims concerning the provision of health care goods or services or any medical product affecting interstate commerce.
Section 3 -
Sets a statute of limitations of three years after the date of manifestation of injury or one year after the claimant discovers the injury, or should have discovered the injury, whichever comes first, unless tolled on the basis of fraud, intentional concealment, or the presence of a foreign body in the injured person.
Provides that lawsuits on behalf of minors under the age of six years must be commenced within three years of the manifestation of the injury or prior to their eighth birthday, whichever provides the longer period, with certain exceptions.
Section 4 -
Declares that nothing in this Act limits the recovery of economic damages. Limits noneconomic damages to $250,000. Prohibits the jury from being informed of such limit. Makes each party liable only for the amount of damages directly proportional to such party's percentage of responsibility.
Section 5 -
Requires court supervision over payment arrangements to protect against conflicts of interest that may reduce the amount of damages awarded that are actually paid to claimants. Allows the court to restrict the payment of attorney contingency fees. Limits the fees to a percentage based on the amount awarded.
Section 6 -
Allows: (1) any party to a lawsuit involving injury or wrongful death to introduce evidence of collateral source benefits; and (2) any opposing party to then introduce evidence of any amount paid or contributed to secure the right to such benefits. Prevents providers of such benefits from recovering any amount from the claimant's recovery or from being subrogated to the right of the claimant.
Section 7 -
Allows an award of punitive damages only if:
(1) the claimant proves by clear and convincing evidence that the person acted with malicious intent to injure the claimant, or that such person deliberately failed to avoid unnecessary injury that such person knew the claimant was substantially certain to suffer; and
(2) compensatory damages are awarded.
Establishes procedural requirements for a claim for punitive damages.
Enumerates the factors to be considered for an award of punitive damages, including the severity of harm caused by the conduct of the party, the duration of the conduct or any concealment of it, the profitability of the conduct, and any criminal penalties imposed.
Limits punitive damages to the greater of $250,000 or two times the amount of economic damages awarded.
Prohibits the jury from being informed of such limit.
Prohibits a punitive damage award in a product liability suit against a manufacturer, distributor, or supplier of a medical product that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or that is generally recognized among qualified experts as safe and effective pursuant to conditions established by the FDA. Provides exceptions if:
(1) the trier of fact finds by clear and convincing evidence that the product is substantially out of compliance with applicable labeling or packaging regulations;
(2) a person knowingly misrepresented or withheld from the FDA required information that is material and causally related to the harm suffered by the claimant; or
(3) an illegal payment is made to an FDA official to secure approval of the medical product.
Prohibits a product liability suit against a medical care provider who prescribes or dispenses such a medical product approved by the FDA.
Section 8 -
Provides for periodic payments of future damage awards over $50,000.
Section 10 -
Exempts civil actions brought for vaccine-related injuries from this act to the extent that they are covered by the Public Health Service Act.
Section 11 -
Preempts state law to the extent that it prevents the application of any provision of law established by this Act, but does not: (1) preempt state law that provides greater protections for health care providers or organizations or that specifies particular damage limits; or (2) affect any defenses available to a party under any other provision of state or federal law.
Section 13 -
Expresses the sense of Congress 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.

House Republican Conference Summary

The summary below was written by the House Republican Conference, which is the caucus of Republicans in the House of Representatives.

No summary available.

House Democratic Caucus Summary

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