January 5, 2021

Health Lobbyist Spent $75 Million to Kill Surprise Medical Bills Reform

“A health lobby group reportedly spent tens of millions of dollars in a campaign to influence legislation aimed at ending the high costs patients might unexpectedly face.

The costs incurred by patients after receiving care from doctors or hospitals not covered by their insurance plan, often in an emergency, have caused a financial headache to millions of Americans.

Analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation in 2018, found that nearly 40 percent of insured, non-elderly adults in the U.S. received an unexpected medical bill, with nearly a third owing $500 or more.

During a two-year political battle between doctors and medical providers against insurance companies, insurers had favored the government setting a benchmark rate, while hospitals and other providers wanted the resolution through independent mediators.

There are concerns at the compromises agreed by Congress could drive up premiums, with president of the Pacific Business Group on Health, Elizabeth Mitchell, telling Politico the legislation will mean an “opaque, expensive bureaucratic process” favoring “those with the resources to navigate that most effectively.”

Read more here: full article from Newsweek.