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What They Are Saying: Bipartisan E&C Leaders Announce Intent for Surprise Billing Legislation


05.13.19

WASHINGTON, DC – Last week, the White House called on Congress to pass legislation banning surprise medical bills. This call for action coincided with an statement from Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Energy and Commerce Republican Leader Greg Walden (R-OR) that they are working together on bipartisan legislation to address this important issue plaguing patients across America.

Here’s What They Are Saying:

CBS News: As part of the Trump administration’s effort to protect Americans from rising drug and health care costs, President Trump is now vowing to “hold insurance companies and hospitals totally accountable” for the practice of surprise medical billing.

Bloomberg: More than half of Americans say they’ve received a surprise bill after getting care, according to one survey. Sometimes called balance bills, they arrive when a doctor, lab-testing service or hospital charges more than a health insurer is willing to pay. For patients, it can mean adding unexpected financial hassle to an already distressing medical problem.

Washington Examiner: President Trump announced Thursday his administration is working with Congress on a comprehensive legislative package to outlaw crippling surprise medical bills.

Associated Press: Just before Trump spoke, the Democratic and Republican leaders of a key House committee said they are ready to move on legislation.

Roll Call: “We are committed to working together on bipartisan legislation that protects patients and families from surprise medical bills and the crippling financial debt that comes with them,” Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J., and ranking member Greg Walden, R-Ore., said in a joint statement. “No family should be left in financial ruin through no fault of their own, which is why we have been working together on a bipartisan solution to protect patients that we hope to announce soon.”

The Washington Post: Public opinion surveys show broad concern about surprise medical bills — and a belief that the government should do something about them. A poll last month by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 50 percent of the respondents said protecting people from such bills should be a top priority for Congress, and 36 percent said it should be an important, though not a top, priority. That meant that surprise bills ranked just slightly behind lowering prescription drug costs and preserving insurance protections for people with preexisting medical conditions among the health-care issues that respondents wanted Congress to resolve.

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