07.12.2023 / Statement
Families USA: Congress continues to make important strides toward improved transparency
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Frederick Isasi, executive director of Families USA, issued the following statement on the House Education and the Workforce Committee’s markup of bipartisan legislation to address transparency in health care.
“Our nation is in the midst of a health care affordability crisis driven by a fundamental misalignment between the business interests of the health care sector and the health and financial security of our nation’s families. We applaud the Committee’s work to begin to remedy some of the most obvious health system failings by advancing legislation to rein in dishonest billing practices, increase transparency into the business practices of insurers and PBMs, and foster healthier competition in health care markets by strengthening bans on anticompetitive practices such as gag clauses in contracts.
We particularly want to thank Chair Foxx and Ranking Member Scott for their public commitment to make important improvements to HR 4507 before it is considered by the Rules Committee to strengthen the legislation to prevent health plans and providers from exploiting loopholes in requirements to post the underlying price of health care services. Ensuring that negotiated rates are publicly posted in dollars and cents is essential to achieve meaningful price transparency that drives health care affordability.
Today the Committee pushed back against the greed of Big Health Care Corporations that want to be allowed to set any price for health care services – and will take any opportunity to keep those prices hidden – at the expense of the financial security of the nation’s families. Our families’ health and financial wellbeing must not hang in the balance because of hidden or unknown fees and abusive industry practices.
While health care prices soar and American families struggle to afford health care, big health care corporations have been showing up in Congress and in state capitols telling our elected officials they are underpaid. Health care corporations can’t say they are underpaid and then fight at every turn to block transparency about the payments they are receiving. With more than 40 percent of Americans in health care debt and health care costs rising much faster than our paychecks, they can’t have it both ways. We demand transparency. Period.
Blue, red, purple or undecided all agree transparency will help patients make informed decisions about their health care. We commend the Education and the Workforce Committee for their work and recommit to ensuring Congress brings the strongest possible legislation to the House floor.”