Groups Urge Deal to Hold Patients Harmless from Surprise Medical Bills Be Passed This Year
News Release, American Heart Association
WASHINGTON, D.C., December 11, 2019 – Today, 27 patient and consumer organizations representing millions of people facing serious, acute, chronic health conditions, issued the following statement in response to the announcement that a bipartisan, bicameral deal has been reached to hold patients and individuals harmless from surprise medical bills:
“The bipartisan agreement reached by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce to protect patients and consumers from surprise medical bills are greatly welcomed. As a 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.
“Our organizations express our deep appreciation to HELP Committee Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Murray, Energy, and Commerce Committee Chairman Pallone and Ranking Member Walden for their understanding of the devastating financial impact that surprise billing has on those it affects, and for their persistence in reaching this agreement.
“We urge Congressional leaders to ensure this legislation can move swiftly before the end of the year.”