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Walden Talks Surprise Billing, COVID-19 on C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers”


WASHINGTON, DC – COVID-19, surprise medical billing, and the CARES Act were among the topics discussed when Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Greg Walden (R-OR) joined “Newsmakers” on C-SPAN with host Steve Scully and The Hill’s Editor in Chief Bob Cusack.

Watch Walden discuss why bipartisan, bicameral, White House approved-surprise medical billing legislation should be included in the next coronavirus aid package and read the article in The Hill from their conversation.

Click here or on the above image to listen to the interview.

WATCH: Need to pass surprise medical billing

How do we make sure our health centers are fully funded? You know, one of my criticisms of this bill is our community health centers are only funded through November. Why haven’t we given them sustainable funding for the next four or five years like Senator Murray and Alexander and Pallone and I have advocated for? Why haven’t we passed surprise medical billing to stop the gouging that occurs 1-out-of-5 times in an emergency room? So there’s more work to be done here in the Congress going forward.

WATCH: Surprise medical billing could be in COVID-10 phase 4 or 5 aid package

Hope so. It outta be. It should have been done back in December or January. We passed our legislation in the House Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously. You think about that – that was occurring in a phase where Democrats were trying to impeach the president. Here, we’re working together to protect consumers from getting ripped off when they go to the emergency room 1-out-of-5 visits. Representative Pallone, Chairman Pallone and I work very closely together. The Education and Labor Committee – the Chairman Mr. Scott and the Ranking Member Ms. Foxx – they were side-by-side on this. Ways and Means Committee passed a bill that had a little different provisions but the dials are somewhat similar. Why can’t we go get this done? Protect consumers, make sure our doctors get paid what they deserve and that your insurance works as advertised. There’s an answer here. We need to get it done. We need to get it done now.

GOP lawmaker: US will see improvement on virus ‘in a couple of weeks’
The Hill
By: Bob Cusack

During an interview for C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” program, Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) said he anticipates a slowing of the virus in April after more test results come in amid continued social distancing.

Walden, the top Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said there will likely continue to be hotspots in the country as health officials seek to stem the spread of the virus.

Other topics that Walden tackled included:

* The next virus-related bill. Walden wants a stalled surprise medical billing measure to be included in the next virus package, noting the bill that he helped craft has broad bipartisan support.

* Access to business loans. Businesses should be able to gain access to capital over the next couple of weeks, according to Walden. He explained that the $2 trillion law allows businesses to apply through the Small Business Administration’s 7(a) program. Walden said that means that businesses can go to their local bank or financial institution to get the money. If the employer follows certain conditions – such as not laying off workers – the loan turns into a grant, he noted.

CLICK HERE to read article.


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