A measure limiting medical malpractice suit pain and sufferingawards, that passed the House Wednesday, faces an uphill battle,but insurance industry representatives are hopeful it will be thenext Senate victory for advocates of litigation reform.

The legislation–known as the Help Efficient, Accessible,Low-Cost, Timely Healthcare Act, or HR 5–passed the House by a voteof 226-200.

Under the bill, non-economic "pain and suffering" damages inmedical malpractice lawsuits would be limited to $250,000. The billalso would pre-empt state laws on punitive damages, allowing themonly in cases with clear and convincing evidence of maliciousintent.

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