The House of Representatives yesterday voted 218-210 to approve medical liability reform legislation (H.R. 1215) that would limit non-economic damages to $250,000 in lawsuits where health coverage was provided or subsidized by the federal government. “Defensive medicine costs the health care system an estimated $50 to $100 billion annually,” noted AHA Executive Vice President Tom Nickels in a letter of support for the bill. “These costs do not primarily benefit the patient, but rather mitigate the risk of liability. To help make health care more affordable and efficient, the current medical liability system needs reform…The Protecting Access to Care Act is based on the proven model of reform, which was enacted decades ago in California.”