CCAGW Urges Opposition to S. 1895 | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

CCAGW Urges Opposition to S. 1895

Letters to Officials

December 4, 2019

U.S. Senate
The Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator,  

On behalf of the more than one million members and supporters of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW), I urge to you oppose S. 1895, the Lower Health Care Costs Act, which attempts to address surprise medical billing, either as a stand-alone bill or as part of any legislation including a continuing resolution or omnibus spending bill.

CCAGW agrees that surprise billing is a serious problem for patients, who should be held harmless from any balance billing charges by unknowingly receiving care from an out-of-network provider while at their in-network facility. However, CCAGW is firmly opposed to any form of rate-setting, like the provisions included in S. 1895. Rate-setting is a price control and a step forward to Medicare for All and socialized medicine. Rate-setting is also opposed by other taxpayer groups.

The states are currently in the process of addressing surprise billing. According to the Commonwealth Fund, as of September 2019, 28 states have implemented a range of protections for patients. Since conservatives believe in states’ rights and have argued that healthcare policy should be administered by them rather than the federal government, the states should be allowed to continue with their policies.

If Congress must weigh on surprise billing, the focus should be on self-funded health plans regulated under federal law (ERISA).

Rather than imposing government-established price controls through rate-setting, Congress should consider allowing the Federal Trade Commission to address potential false and misleading advertising regarding in-network facilities, as suggested by John Goodman of the Goodman Institute for Public Policy, and contract reform as suggested by Benedic N. Ippolito and David A. Hyman at the American Enterprise Institute.

However Congress decides to address surprise medical billing, patients and taxpayers should come first.

All votes on S. 1895 will be among those considered for CCAGW’s 2019 Congressional Ratings.


Tom Schatz
President, CCAGW

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