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Congressman Dan Kildee Applauds Committee Passage of Bipartisan Surprise Billing Legislation

February 13, 2020
Press Release

Bipartisan Bill Would Protect Patients From Unfair Medical Bills

Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05), Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus, applauded the Ways and Means Committee’s unanimous passage of H.R. 5826, the Consumer Protections Against Surprise Medical Bills Act. This legislation would protect patients from unfair and expensive surprise medical bills that charge them out-of-network fees without their permission.

“When a patient has a medical emergency, the last thing the patient should have to worry about is an unexpected medical bill,” Congressman Kildee said. “The bipartisan legislation that the Ways and Means committee passed today will protect patients from surprise medical bills. This legislation will help lower health care costs and provide increased transparency for patients, ensuring they won’t be stuck in the middle of a billing dispute.”

Surprise medical bills occur when a patient goes to a hospital and, unknowingly or unintentionally, receives care from a provider outside of their insurance network. The patient is then left with the bill when the health care providers and insurance companies cannot agree on the cost of care. The Consumer Protections Against Surprise Medical Bills Act would do the following the combat this:

  • Protect patients from surprise medical bills for out-of-network services by prohibiting providers from making patients foot the bill for the difference between the amount the provider charges and the amount that the patient’s insurance pays, known as “balance billing”, for care.
  • Provide patients with an Advance Explanations of Benefits — a true cost estimate of what health care treatment providers will deliver, the cost of those treatments and if it is covered by their insurance.
  • Create a mediation process that would help resolve payment disagreements between plans.

Congressman Kildee’s top priorities are lowering health care costs and preserving the Affordable Care Act. Congressman Kildee has supported the passage of H.R. 3, the Elijah Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, which would lower the cost of prescription drug by allowing Medicare to negotiate directly with drug companies. He has also supported both H.R. 986, the Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act of 2019 and H.R. 987, the Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act which would help to rein in the soaring costs of prescription drugs and protect those with pre-existing conditions.

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