Reps. Roe, Morelle, and Shalala on Education and Labor Committee Passage of Surprise Billing Legislation
WASHINGTON D.C. – Representatives Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), Joseph Morelle (D-N.Y.), and Donna Shalala (D-Fla.) released the following statement in response to the House Education and Labor Committee reporting the Ban Surprise Billing Act out of committee by a vote of 32 to 13:
“We agree with our colleagues that we must end the unfortunate practice of surprise medical billing -however we could not in good faith support the legislation put forth today. As written, this bill will empower insurers to set low reimbursement rates and narrow networks, harming patients by driving the fixed price for services as low as possible. Bipartisan legislation we introduced, based on the proven New York model of independent dispute resolution, is a better approach that protects patients and fairly allows providers and health insurers to work out the resulting bill in arbitration.
“In the face of the bipartisan opposition this legislation received, we are hopeful that House leaders will adopt the approach being taken in the House Ways and Means Committee, which strikes a careful balance between payers and providers, while ensuring that patients are fully protected.”
Note: Reps. Roe, Morelle and Shalala are members of the House Education and Labor Committee who have advocated for the Protecting People from Surprise Medical Bills Act, which establishes an arbitration system based on the New York State model where patients are held harmless for unanticipated costs arising from emergency. Since enactment, New York’s law has yielded $400 million in savings to consumers, a 34% decrease in out-of-network charges, and 9% decrease in in-network emergency room payments, demonstrating the effectiveness of the Independent Dispute Resolution system. The members also support the framework proposed by Ways and Means Committee. Read the full statement in support here.