Democrat and GOP Ways and Means Leaders Announce Agreement on Surprise Billing
by Kevin Brady on December 17, 2019 at 12:46 PM
Recently, as lead Republican on the Ways and Means Committee, I along with Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) announced that we have reached an agreement on a strategy for the Committee to pursue in addressing the nation’s surprise medical billing crisis. Our plan puts patients first, requiring enhanced consumer protections, transparency, and explanations of benefits. The Ways and Means approach respects the private market dynamics between insurance plans and providers, and it includes an independent mediated negotiation process to resolve billing disagreements.
“Health care policy only works when both parties work together, and together we are proposing a bipartisan solution to end surprise medical bills. Americans should not be taken advantage of in an emergency medical situation,” we said. “Patients deserve honest out-of-pocket estimates in advance of scheduled procedures, and there needs to be a fair resolution process for providers and insurers. That is what our proposal achieves. There are multiple good-faith proposals from other Committees, but given our jurisdiction, it is crucial that we get this right. The House, Senate, and Administration all need to stay at the table and debate these ideas as we decide the best, most patient-focused path forward. We look forward to working together with our Committee Members and having this be one of the first things we consider in the new year.”