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KHN: Americans Want Legislation to End Surprise Billing


WASHINGTON, DC – The problem of surprise billing is on the rise in America, one in five emergency department visits and about nine percent of elective inpatient care at in-network health facilities results in a surprise bill. Now, Kaiser Health News reports that the vast majority of Americans – 8 in 10 – want Congress to pass legislation to end surprise billing.

The bipartisan No Surprises Act, passed unanimously out of the Energy and Commerce Committee in July, represents the best opportunity for Congress to answer this call to action from the American people and protect patients from surprise bills.

While there have been misleading attacks against our efforts, that has not reduced public support. As Kaiser notes, “57% of respondents support passing legislation to address the problem even after hearing the critics’ argument.”

Energy and Commerce Republican Leader Greg Walden (R-OR) agrees, saying that “if hospitals, doctors, and insurers mean what they say — that patients should be held harmless and should not face unexpected, exorbitant medical bills — then we need to act with legislation.”

Republicans, Democrats, and Independents are calling on Congress to protect patients. It’s time to pass the No Surprises Act into law and get it done.

Legislation To End Surprise Medical Bills Has High Public Support — In Both Parties

September 12, 2019

Nearly 8 in 10 Americans support legislation to protect people from surprise medical bills, a new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows.

That support persisted no matter which party was asked: 84% of Democrats, 78% of independents and 71% of Republicans said they support surprise billing legislation, according to the poll. (Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the foundation.)

Surprise bills are the unexpected ― and often expensive — charges patients receive after getting care from a doctor or hospital not in their insurance network. The issue has attracted a lot of attention in recent years, with ongoing projects like KHN-NPR’s “Bill of the Month” series and Vox’s look at emergency room bills illuminating the scope of the problem. The White House and both parties on Capitol Hill have expressed interest in finding ways to protect consumers from the practice.

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