Compromise on government rate-setting legislation for surprise medical billing misses the mark

Dec. 9, 2019, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement rejecting a deal between House and Senate negotiators on a bill to address surprise medical billing with government rate setting:

“A compromise bill from U.S. Representatives Greg Walden and Frank Pallone, and Sen. Lamar Alexander on surprise medical bills, if it still relies on government-rate setting will be a disaster for patients. It favors insurance companies, who will have a perverse incentive to remove rural community hospitals from their networks in order to compel artificially low reimbursement rates, leading to more hospital closures and limiting access. Bills offered by U.S. Rep. Phil Roe and Senators Bill Cassidy and Michael Bennet instead establish an independent board to settle billing disputes between doctors and insurance companies. While insurance companies may have the power in D.C., they are health care payment vehicles, not health care itself, and billing disputes should be independently decided to ensure continued quality health care access for all Americans.”

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