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HomeFocus → Senators Agree Surprise Medical Bills Must Go. But How?

Senators Agree Surprise Medical Bills Must Go. But How? Print E-mail
Written by Rachel Bluth | KHN   
Tuesday, 18 June 2019 00:00

Two years, 16 hearings and one massive bipartisan package of legislation later, a key Senate committee says it is ready to start marking up a bill next week designed to contain health care costs. But it might not be easy since lawmakers and stakeholders at a final hearing Tuesday <6.18.19> showed they are still far apart on one simple aspect of the proposal. That sticking point: a formula for paying for surprise medical bills, those unexpected and often high charges patients face when they get care from a doctor or hospital that isn't in their insurance network. The wide-ranging legislative package on curbing healthcare costs is sponsored by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the chairman and ranking member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. Given the committee's influence, and because this legislation has bipartisan support in the Senate where not many bills are moving, industry observers are taking the HELP panel's proposal very seriously. Alexander and Murray's bill lays out three options for paying surprise medical bills but does not specify which path the final legislation should take. Advocates for each of the choices were among the five witnesses Tuesday.

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Last Updated on Saturday, 22 June 2019 16:00
 


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