WASHINGTON, DC – As reported by Vox, Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Energy and Commerce Republican Leader Greg Walden (R-OR) released bipartisan draft legislation to protect patients from receiving surprise medical bills.
Exclusive: the new bipartisan House bill to stop surprise medical bills, explained
Congress is ramping up its push to stop surprise medical bills.
Reps. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Greg Walden (R-OR), the top Democrat and Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, have jointly released a draft bill that would prevent patients from facing unexpected charges after they go to the emergency room or receive other non-emergency medical care.
The draft legislation, shared exclusively with Vox, is the most robust proposal yet as lawmakers from both parties and President Donald Trump say they want to end surprise billing. The plan would prohibit surprise charges not only for emergency care when a patient ends up at a hospital that is out of their insurance plan’s network, but also for non-emergency care when the facility might be in network but certain providers are not.
“The Energy and Commerce draft is the strongest proposal at the federal level to date,” Loren Adler, the associate director of the USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy, told me. “It clearly eliminates the problem of surprise billing in both emergency and non-emergency situations.”
Pallone has a powerful perch as the chair of his committee and, importantly, has the cooperation of Walden, the top Republican on the panel. The pair intend to move the bill through the committee and send it to the House floor.
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