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12.16.2020 / Press Release

Statement: Consumers First Urges Congress to Include Critical Provisions from the Lower Health Care Cost Act in the Current COVID-19 Relief Package

Washington, D.C. – Consumers First: The Alliance to Make the Health Care System Work for Everyone released the following statement about the need for Congress to include key provisions from the Lower Health Care Cost Act in the legislative package to extend COVID-19 relief and end surprise medical bills.

Consumers First, the alliance that brings together the diverse interests representing families and children, working people, employers, and primary care, urges Congress to include Sections 301 and 302 of the Lower Health Care Costs Act (S.1895, as passed on a bipartisan basis by the HELP Committee in 2019) in the legislative package that will extend COVID-19 relief and end surprise medical bills. Congress is currently considering the addition of these provisions into the COVID-19 relief package, and we strongly encourage them to do so. The provisions seek to stop exploitative practices that unfairly drive up health care costs for families, workers, and employers—more important than ever as the country continues to grapple with the health and economic devastation from COVID-19.

Other critical benefits from Sections 301 and 302 includes:

  • Giving patients, providers, payers, and researchers actionable information about health care costs
  • Stopping abusive hospitals and health systems across the country from stifling competition and setting unfair prices
  • Helping to re-establish competitive health care markets in which health care providers and health plans that offer higher quality and more reasonably priced health care services are rewarded, and anticompetitive behavior is prohibited

These provisions have strong bipartisan support and the time for Congress to act is now. Consumers First has long supported the enactment of Sections 301 and 302 of the Lower Health Care Cost Act into law. If Congress is serious about helping their constituents, they should ensure that these changes—representing a significant step forward in lowering health care costs for our nation’s families, working people, and employers— are enacted into law.

Consumers First is an alliance that brings together the interests of families and children, working people, employers, and primary care working to change the fundamental economic incentives and design of the health care system. Our goal is to realign the incentives and design of health care so that the system truly delivers the health and high-quality care that all families across our nation deserve.