On October 7, 2009, the House Judiciary Committee
met for a markup session of H.R. 1478, known as the Carmelo Rodriguez Military Malpractice Accountability Act of 2009. The
Committee voted 14 (Democrats) to 12 (Republicans) to favorably report the bill to the House. This is not an overwhelming
victory since 10 Democrats were absent compared to only 4 Republicans. One can see how easily this vote could have been unfavorable.
There has been a question for years as to why this is a partisan issue
when the rights of our servicemembers should be a bipartisan effort. A very interesting article at http://www.newsbatch.com/tort.htm spells it out: The trial lawyer associations which represent plaintiff lawyers are major contributors
to the Democrats. Insurance and medical interests contribute heavily to Republicans.
In reviewing the House Judiciary markup transcript, it was interesting that Republicans unanimously
voted for an amendment to the bill that would reduce attorney's fees citing that they wanted the soldiers to get more of the compensation, yet the Republicans voted against the bill that would give soldiers
the right to pursue compensation. This means that the Republicans are willing to deny our servicemembers the right to pursue
compensation because in their opinion, the attorneys' fees are too high. http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/transcripts/votes/VKing091007.pdf
Our lawmakers have lost sight of the victims in legitimate
malpractice cases. The victims in regard to the Military Malpractice Accountability Act are our servicemembers. There
is no justification for continuing to deny our servicemembers the right to legal redress for reckless and negligent medical
care. There is a synopsis of the arguments for and against the Military Malpractice Accountability Act (Oppose/Support) based on the transcript of the markup session, as well as some personal opinions and comments. Page numbers correspond to
the markup transcript available at http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/transcripts/transcript091007.pdf
Last action: Oct 7, 2009: Ordered
to be Reported (Amended) by the Yeas and Nays: 14 - 12.
status: This bill never became law. This bill was proposed
in the 111th session of Congress which ended 2010. Sessions of Congress last two years, and at the end of each session
all proposed bills and resolutions that haven't passed are cleared from the books. Members often reintroduce
bills that did not come up for debate under a new number in the next session.