Lamar Alexander Persists on Surprise Medical Billing Legislation, Despite Opposition from Free Market Groups


More free-market groups oppose U.S. Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee on the surprise medical billing legislation he’s pushing.

This, according to, which reported it is “one of the few election-year bills that has a shot at making it to President Trump’s desk.”

As The Tennessee Star reported in July, surprise medical billing happens when a patient receives out-of-network care without his or her knowledge – either in an emergency or during a visit to an in-network facility. Weeks later, insurance companies send bills demanding patients pay money for services they assumed insurance would cover.

Members of Americans for Prosperity, the Center for a Free Economy, FreedomWorks, Institute for Liberty, and the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, among others, oppose what Alexander is doing.

According to, “groups like NTU and Heritage Action argue the legislation is on par with ‘price controls’ or ‘rate-setting’ that would give the government too much power in the private sector and pave the way for Medicare for All.”

The website went on to say Alexander’s planned departure from the U.S. Senate at the end of this term puts pressure on him to get his legislation passed. then quoted David Williams, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Taxpayers Protection Alliance.

“I get it. You serve for a long time and think you’re doing what you should for your constituents, and I respect that. But we disagree with this legislation,” the website quoted Williams as saying.

“But it’s not the right thing for the healthcare industry. I won’t begrudge the effort, but I’ll disagree and make sure it won’t get passed.”

The website went on to report that conservative groups have put out targeted ads in Tennessee and in other places.

“Envision and TeamHealth – staffing firms backed by Blackstone Group Inc. and KKR & Co. – spent a combined $54 million on ads last year targeting the proposal. NTU piled on, spending more than $1.2 million since early December on radio and television ads across the country, including in states and districts represented by lawmakers who are working on the legislation,” according to

“Last month, NTU spent $38,000 on 165 radio spots that aired in Nashville, Tenn.”

As The Star reported in December, Alexander says he’ll do everything he can to keep surprise medical billing at the top of Congress’ to-do list in 2020, despite opposition from, among others, the National Taxpayers Union.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]





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3 Thoughts to “Lamar Alexander Persists on Surprise Medical Billing Legislation, Despite Opposition from Free Market Groups”

  1. […] The Tennessee Star reported last month, many free-market groups oppose Alexander’s surprise medical billing […]

  2. William R. Delzell

    Seems like these Americans for Prosperity, the Institute for Liberty, et al., are simply for self-greed and wrap themselves in the flag. They think it is okay for out-of-network providers to rip off patients without warning.

  3. 83ragtop50

    This guy just does not have a clue.