Senate Bill 406: New Court…New TAX on Justice



     SB 406, AS AMENDED,

ELEVATES PROFIT AND LACK OF ACCOUNTABILITY

ABOVE THE

HEALTH, SAFETY AND WELFARE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE CITIZENS

 

  1. Every state in the U.S.A. that has considered the “Early Offer System” proposed by SB 406 has rejected it.  New Hampshire would be the first state to experiment on its citizens in this way, contrary to good public policy.
  2. Major Medical Liability Insurance Carriers, including Coverys and Medical Mutual of Maine oppose the bill, even as amended.  Both companies have stated they already have their own early offer programs and will not participate in this new one.  They further state their contracts prohibit their insureds from participation in any system outside their contract.  Participation could put the doctor or nurse at risk of being uninsured, risking their homes and other personal assets.
  3. The bill will prey upon the vulnerable and the desperate by offering the prospect of quick cash to injured patients in exchange for waiving Constitutional rights and remedies long held sacred in New Hampshire.
  4. The bill disproportionately penalizes and devalues the lives of the elderly, homemakers, the unemployed and children simply because they may not have had regular income at the time of their medical injury.
  5. If an injured patient rejects a low ball offer from the medical provider, they can still file a conventional lawsuit, but if they lose they will have to pay the medical provider’s legal fees and costs.  This “loser pays” system, still used in England, is one the United States has never embraced because of its chilling effect on its people to seek justice for undue harms.
  6. The one-size-fits-all schedule of payments for injuries fails to acknowledge the unique individuality of each victim of medical injury, thus leading to unjust and inequitable results.
  7. The “Waiver of Rights” mandated by the bill is written in confusing legalese and fails to adequately warn injured patients of the many penalties and pitfalls to which they may fall victim.  This undermines the drafters’ suggestion that the system is completely “voluntary”.  A system lacking INFORMED CONSENT can never be truly “voluntary”.

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