WASHINGTON, DC – Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Greg Walden (R-OR) expressed his satisfaction in the following statement with the advancement of H.R. 3630, the No Surprises Act, from the Health Subcommittee to the full committee for consideration.
“To Sonji Wilkes – who received a $50,000 bill because her son stayed 50 steps from her in the NICU for one night – and to the countless others who have experienced a surprise medical bill: we are fighting for you. This is not a new problem, nor is it a small one. A recent study shows nearly one-in-five emergency visits result in at least one surprise bill. That’s why Republicans and Democrats are working together toward a single goal: protect patients who follow the rules and pay their premiums. Today, we advanced a bill that does that – that prohibits surprise medical bills and resolves the payment disputes with a market-based approach – dependent on where people live and the type of care they receive. I’m encouraged by the substantial progress we’ve made and I commit to continuing to work with my colleagues to get this done,” said Walden.
Last month, the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee of Health held a hearing titled, “No More Surprises: Protecting Patients from Surprise Medical Bills,” where the members examined how to hold patients harmless in emergency situations and also end surprise medical bills. At the hearing, members heard from a witness named, Sonji Wilkes, who experienced the harm of surprise medical billing firsthand. Her family was billed tens of thousands of dollars for her son’s stay in the NICU, which was out of network of her insurance, but at the very same hospital where she gave birth that was in-network. Wilkes’ testimony can be found here and Walden’s remarks on surprise billing can be found here. Today, the No Surprises Act was moved from the Subcommittee of Health to the full committee with bipartisan support.