December 11, 2019
ASA Opposes New Agreement on Surprise Medical Bills
Over the weekend, three Congressional Committee leaders: Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Representative Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Representative Greg Walden (R-OR), Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, released a revised Lower Health Care Cost proposal
which included an agreement on surprise medical bills. Unfortunately, these provisions are a continuation of the same flawed proposals ASA has previously opposed.
On December 10, ASA released a statement expressing
its strong opposition to the surprise medical billing provisions included in the Alexander-Pallone-Walden Lower Health Care Cost proposal. ASA has grave concerns about the impact of the Alexander-Pallone-Walden proposal on local physician practices. The committee summary of the proposal tracks closely with legislation previously authored by Senator Alexander and Congressmen Pallone and Walden, which were opposed by ASA.
According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the previous Alexander and Pallone legislation would slash physician payments by 15 to 20%. Additionally, CBO noted that under the legislation the “majority of health care is delivered inside patients’ networks,” and more than 80 percent of the estimated budgetary effects of the legislation would arise from changes to in-network payment rates.” ASA believes the wrong approach to protecting patients from surprise bills is the Alexander and Pallone approach of weakening physician practices across the country with massive payment cuts, while also penalizing physicians who are actually ‘in-network.’
ASA is committed to working with Congress to fix surprise medical bills and urges Congress to look to successful, data-supported state models to solve the issue.
Read more about the key provisions of the Alexander-Pallone-Walden proposal and ASA’s position.
Take action today by making a phone call
and writing a letter
to Congress opposing the surprise medical bill provisions of the Lover Health Care Costs proposal as written.