A Congressional agreement reached with bipartisan support would hold patients and individuals harmless from surprise medical bills, which can have a devastating financial impact on patients - and which go hand-in-hand with the health care industry’s lack of pricing transparency.
The agreement is also bicameral: approved by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. HELP Committee Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Murray, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Pallone and Ranking Member Walden were singled out for praise in a statement issued by a coalition of 27 patient and consumer organizations in response to the agreement.
From the statement:
“As patient and consumer organizations representing millions of individuals facing serious, acute and chronic health conditions, we have been advocating for legislation to protect the people we represent from the potential of massive medical debt caused by these surprise medical bills.
“While we look forward to reviewing the legislative text once it is released based on principles outlined in a letter sent by many of our organizations to Congressional leaders in October, we are heartened that holding patients harmless from these surprise medical bills is the guiding principle behind this agreement.
“We urge Congressional leaders to ensure this legislation can move swiftly before the end of the year."
The organizations supporting the agreement are:
- Adult Congenital Heart Association
- Alpha-1 Foundation
- ALS Association
- American Cancer Society
- Cancer Action Network
- American Heart Association
- American Kidney Fund
- American Liver Foundation
- American Lung Association
- Arthritis Foundation
- COPD Foundation
- Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
- Epilepsy Foundation
- Family Voices
- Hemophilia Federation of America
- Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
- Mended Little Hearts
- Muscular Dystrophy Association
- National Alliance on Mental Illness
- National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship
- National Health Council
- National Hemophilia Foundation
- National Multiple Sclerosis Society
- National Organization of Rare Disorders
- National Psoriasis Foundation
- Pulmonary Hypertension Association
- Susan G. Komen