December 4, 2019

Cassidy, Hassan Statement on Report that White House Open to Surprise Medical Bill Compromise

WASHINGTON  Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) released the following statement on Politico’s report that the White House is open to a surprise medical bill fix similar to what Senators Cassidy, Hassan, and their bipartisan working group put forward.

“We deeply appreciate the White House’s shared goal of getting legislation to end the practice of surprise medical bills signed into law before the end of the year. Our bipartisan working group put forward legislation that first and foremost takes consumers out of the middle of payment disputes between providers and plans. Our approach uses a simple baseball-style arbitration as a safety valve to help providers and plans resolve these billing disputes because after working on the issue for more than a year, it became clear that this solution was the best one for communities in all parts of the country, and because it is the only one that we believe can pass the Senate. We’ve been encouraged by our ongoing discussions with Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Murray, and we’re grateful for the White House’s engagement as we work together to get this bill across the finish line and protect patients from this outrageous practice.”

Senators Hassan and Cassidy have led efforts to address surprise medical bills and worked for months with members from both parties to craft the STOP Surprise Medical Bills Act to end this practice. In May, Senators Hassan and Cassidy joined President Trump at a White House event on the need to address this issue. In June, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee – on which both Senators serve – passed legislation to end surprise medical bills as part of a broader package of legislation to address health care costs called the Lower Health Care Costs Act. Both Senators recently participated in a Bipartisan Policy Center discussion on their efforts to end surprise medical bills.