Statement: Families USA applauds members of the U.S. Senate Bipartisan Working Group for introducing the STOP Surprise Medical Bills Act
Washington, D.C. - Families USA released the following statement in response to Senate members' introduction of the bipartisan STOP Surprise Medical Bills Act.
Thousands of families across America are bobbing to stay financially afloat after seeking medical care, and then receiving surprise medical bills. In fact, 1 in 5 U.S. families who visit emergency rooms receive surprise medical bills. Families USA applauds members of the U.S. Senate Bipartisan Working Group for introducing the STOP Surprise Medical Bills Act. We are especially impressed that the bill is the result of across-the-aisle collaboration.
The draft, bipartisan legislation, which was introduced by Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA); Michael Bennet (D-CO); Todd Young (R-IN); Maggie Hassan (D-NH); Lisa Murkowski (R-AK); and Tom Carper (D-DE), is intended to protect patients from surprise medical bills.
U.S. Senators Dan Sullivan (R-AK) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) are also co-sponsoring the bill.
Families receive surprise medical bills when they get care from an out-of-network provider due to no fault of their own --- even when they have enrolled in health insurance, paid their premiums, and have executed diligence to seek care within their provider-approved health care system.
Surprise medical bills can amount to hundreds or even thousands of dollars that consumers are unprepared to pay, and subsequently threaten their financial security.
The Senate Bipartisan Working Group's legislation upholds two important principles: 1) It holds consumers harmless from surprise medical bills that they receive due to no fault of their own, and 2) It establishes a payment mechanism between insurers and out-of-network providers that holds down overall costs.
We are excited to continue working with members of the Bipartisan Working Group and their colleagues on Capitol Hill to bring forth legislation that protects consumers from surprise bills. And while special interests may try to block this issue from progressing in Congress, legislators must press forward find a federal solution to this problem now.
Families USA urges Congress to pass legislation to protect consumers from surprise bills this year --- America's families cannot wait any longer.