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H.R. 1063 known as the Strengthening Medicare and Repaying Taxpayers Act of 2011 has done what seemingly nothing else has ever done–it has gotten wide spread support from groups as diverse as the American Association for Justice (the preeminent trial lawyers organization in the United States), the Chamber of Commerce (usually opposed to anything and everything supported by the AAJ), and companies like Walmart, Best Buy and Disney. Its being co-sponsored by Republicans Ron Paul, Tim Murphy, Don Young and Howard Cable, along with Democrats Ron Kind, Diana DeGette, Linda Sanchez and Tammy Baldwin.

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So what brings this diverse group of backers together? Strengthening Medicare and Repaying Taxpayers Act of 2011 will reform the way people deal with Medicare when they have a claim for personal injury. Medicare requires that when a person is injured due to someone else’s negligence, whether it is by medical malpractice, an auto accident, a fall, or any other incident where someone else is at fault, and they are receiving Medicare benefits, then Medicare is entitled to be reimbursed for the money it has spent providing medical care. That’s certainly fair. However, the Medicare bureaucracy now does not allow the Medicare recipient to find out how much Medicare is claiming they have paid for that medical care until after a settlement has been reached. This ridiculous rule puts claimants, their attorneys, defendants and their insurers, in the ridiculous position of trying to guess how much Medicare will want to be repaid.

Strengthening Medicare and Repaying Taxpayers Act of 2011 simply requires Medicare to provide that information before a settlement is reached. Simple and fair. The result will be that Medicare (meaning the taxpayers) will receive reimbursement faster. And why wouldn’t that be a good thing?

Call or write your congresman and ask them to please support H.R. 1063 known as the Strengthening Medicare and Repaying Taxpayers Act of 2011.

The New York Times is reporting that Congress will investigate Johnson & Johnson makers of Tylenol and the recalled DePuy ASR hip implants.

Johnson and Johnson has been the subject of intensive scrutiny recently. Among the problems is the recall of its ASR hip implants. Initially, DePuy announced they were retiring the line because of low sales. However, the truth came out that the ASR hip implants were experiencing extremely high failure rates in short periods of time, as much as 10% in the first 2 or 3 years of use. These failures are leading to severe injuries and revision surgery.

If you or someone you know has a DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip implant, contact our office immediately for a free consultation. Todd N. Hendrickson is an experienced medical malpractice and medical product liability lawyer and can help you evaluate your case. Contact us now.