WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and 25 of their Senate colleagues sent a letter to Senate leadership today requesting that they include a four-committee, bipartisan agreement to end surprise medical billing in the year-end spending bill.
The agreement holds patients harmless from surprise medical bills and provides a fair arbitration process to resolve disputes between health care providers and insurers. It does not undermine any existing state laws, nor does it include “rate setting” or a threshold to access arbitration to resolve billing disputes. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee and House Committees on Ways and Means, Education and Labor, and Energy and Commerce have all given their stamps of approval on the agreement.
“The practice of surprise medical billing needs to end. This practice has been especially damaging during COVID-19 when patients receive large unexpected bills weeks after they go to the emergency room,” the senators wrote. “There will never be a broader bipartisan, bicameral solution to ending surprise medical billing, and we should deal with it now. Patients cannot wait any longer.”
In addition to Cassidy and Hassan, other senators who signed the letting include U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Patty Murray (D-WA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Doug Jones (D-AL), John Kennedy (R-LA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Rob Portman (R-OH), Tom Carper (D-DE), Susan Collins (R-ME), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Tina Smith (D-MN), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), John Cornyn (R-TX), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Todd young (R-IN), Chris Coons (D-DE), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), John Hoeven (R-ND), Bob Casey (D-PA) and Mike Braun (R-IN).
Read the letter here.