07.25.2023 / Statement
Families USA: Ways and Means Price Transparency Legislation Misses the Mark, Families USA Urges Members to Fix the Legislation or Oppose It
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Frederick Isasi, executive director of Families USA, issued the following statement on the House Ways and Means Committee’s scheduled markup of the Committee’s Majority-led 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 appreciate the Committee’s work to begin addressing some of the most obvious health system failings by advancing legislation that seeks to rein in dishonest billing practices and foster healthier competition in health care markets by working to expand site neutral payments for drug administration services. These are critical reforms and we urge the Committee to retain these provisions in any packages moving forward.
Unfortunately, the Ways and Means legislation misses the mark by rolling back existing federal regulations that require hospitals and plans to post the actual price of health care services -the negotiated rate. Families USA opposes the Ways and Means legislation as drafted and urges that Committee Members to vote against the legislation unless important reforms are adopted.
The Committee should make it clear, without any exception, that all hospital corporations are required to post prices in dollars and cents, in a machine readable, and consumer friendly format. This is an utterly bipartisan solution that has transcended the Trump and Biden Administrations and was advanced in the last few weeks by the other House Committees on a bipartisan basis.
Our families’ health and financial well-being should not hang in the balance because of hidden or unknown fees and abusive industry practices. This is an important moment for the committee to come together in a bipartisan way to push back against the greed of medical monopolies 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 nation’s families.
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 will continue to work with the Ways and Means Committee and their colleagues in Congress to bring the strongest possible legislation to the House floor.”