Council for Citizens Against Government Waste Statement on Disastrous Surprise Billing Proposal | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

Council for Citizens Against Government Waste Statement on Disastrous Surprise Billing Proposal

Press Release

For Immediate ReleaseContact: Ally Abrams 202-467-5310
December 9, 2019aabrams@cagw.org

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) released the following statement in opposition to the surprise billing deal reached by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) and House Energy and Commerce Committees, which would give the government the authority to set prices for healthcare:

CAGW President Tom Schatz said, “The surprise billing proposal agreement among HELP Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and Ranking Member Greg Walden (R-Ore.) lumps together two bad proposals that give the government the power to establish and control prices.  It must be rejected by the House and Senate.  The agreement is a substantial step toward Medicare for All and socialized medicine.  It will have a devastating impact on rural hospitals, which have had 100 closures since 2010, while another 430, or more than 20 percent of all rural hospitals, are at risk of shutting down.  If this legislation is enacted into law, healthcare costs will rise, as patients will become sicker by not being able to access local healthcare facilities.  Mortality rates in areas where rural hospitals have closed increased by 5.9 percent, according to a National Bureau of Economic Research study.  If the House and Senate persist in moving forward with this disastrous legislation, there should be a floor debate and vote on its merits, and it should not be added to any legislation like a continuing resolution or omnibus appropriations bill.  An open debate would provide the opportunity to consider better solutions than government rate-setting and price controls.  For example, if hospitals state and insurers claim they are in a network, then both must abide by such an agreement, which can be enforced with truth-in-advertising protections and a good faith estimate requirement.  The government rate-setting and price control surprise billing agreement must be rejected.”

The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste is the lobbying arm of Citizens Against Government Waste, the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. 

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