The Washington, D.C.-based Taxpayers Protection Alliance has accused big insurance companies of trying to push a bill through Congress that aims to ban Surprise Medical Bills.
The TPA, in a new ad, said those companies are “really just lining their own pockets.”
TPA members, in their ad, also said that Congressional efforts to address Surprise Medical Billing are really just “a handout to the big insurance companies that would leave our frontline doctors out in the cold.”
As The Tennessee Star reported last year, 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.
The TPA said this bill would ban Surprise Medical Bills through something called “benchmarking,” which sets prices based on the average for a provided service.
U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), in a letter to members of Congress, urged them to reject proposals to impose price controls as a method to address Surprise Medical Billing.
“There is broad agreement that patients should be held harmless from surprise medical bills. However, a recent legislative proposal goes beyond holding these consumers harmless, and introduces a government-centric rate setting approach based on median in-network charges. Make no mistake – rate setting in health care, particularly when the rates are ratcheted downward for future fiscal reasons, will result in fewer providers and therefore less access to health care by American patients,” Blackburn wrote.
“There is an active debate about bipartisan alternatives to government rate setting as a way to eliminate surprise bills while protecting patients. Short circuiting the Senate’s work on this topic by including rate setting in a must pass end-of-year legislative vehicle will leave patients with fewer choices, and will embolden those who believe the federal government should manage complex health care matters.”
Blackburn went on to say that members of Congress should not include any Surprise Medical Billing legislation that includes rate setting in any spending or legislative package before the end of the 116th Congress.
In their own letter to Congress, members of the TPA said that “these proposals are not ‘market-based’ as some have claimed. They are straightforward price controls that will inflict great damage on the healthcare system during a global pandemic.”
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