This week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing on H.R. 5, the "Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-cost, Timely Act (HEALTH) of 2011." The Act would impose a cap of $250,000 on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases.
Supporters of the bill state that it will save billions of dollars by eliminating frivolous suits, lowering the cost of malpractice insurance, and by preventing "defensive medicine," where practitioners may order unnecessary tests and treatments to avoid being sued by a patient. Opponents of the Act believe that providers should be held liable for their actions and that there should be no limit on an injured patient's right to seek relief.
Source: House Energy and Commerce Committee http://energycommerce.house.gov/News/PRArticle.aspx?NewsID=8436&IID=9