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The best way to reduce medical costs is to reduce unfair medical charges of all varieties, and not to simply shift the costs to the taxpayers or national debt.
S.967 – Reducing Costs for Out-of-Network Services Act of 2019
116th Congress (2019-2020). Only three Senators have signed onto this bill: Senator Shaheen of New Hampshire, Sen. Baldwin, Tammy [D-WI]*04/01/2019 and Sen. Merkley, Jeff [D-OR]* https://archive.li/7zLbO

US Senator Shaheen explains: “how physician staffing companies, at the behest of private equity firms, abuse the health care system to profit off of patients, “First, surprise medical bills usually occur when a patient visits an in-network hospital… But the doctor who sees me is not a doctor who’s in the network of my insurance company. So unbeknownst to me as I go into the emergency room, that doctor is what’s called out-of-network. These doctors often are working for physician staffing companies that have gone out-of-network so that they can aggressively pursue surprise bills. These physician staffing companies are also using these surprise medical bills to negotiate, to command in-network payments from insurers that are often twice as high as the average, which can result in higher insurance premiums for everyone.”

On Senate Floor, Shaheen Calls Out Dark Money Special Interests Trying to Derail Congress’s Effort to End Surprise Medical Billing
SEPTEMBER 25, 2019
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) spoke on the floor of the Senate this afternoon to call out the dark money special interests that have flooded states across the country, including New Hampshire, with millions of dollars’ worth of advertisements with the objective of derailing efforts in Congress to end surprise medical billing. A report by the New York Times revealed that the group behind this ad campaign, Doctor Patient Unity, is a front for private equity firms on Wall Street.  
https://archive.li/aWzpm

Watch Shaheen’s remarks here. https://youtu.be/VHnzfmxiIBU

During her remarks, Shaheen made clear that this ad campaign of misinformation and fear is a consequence of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United, “Due to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, special interests can spend unlimited amounts of money and they can stay anonymous. This ad campaign is not only confusing to voters – it’s Exhibit A on how our campaign finance system is broken. The voices of Granite Staters who are struggling to pay surprise medical bills are being drowned out — in this case — by private equity firms on Wall Street who are making billions off of the status quo.”

Shaheen continued by explaining how physician staffing companies, at the behest of private equity firms, abuse the health care system to profit off of patients, “First, surprise medical bills usually occur when a patient visits an in-network hospital… But the doctor who sees me is not a doctor who’s in the network of my insurance company. So unbeknownst to me as I go into the emergency room, that doctor is what’s called out-of-network. These doctors often are working for physician staffing companies that have gone out-of-network so that they can aggressively pursue surprise bills. These physician staffing companies are also using these surprise medical bills to negotiate, to command in-network payments from insurers that are often twice as high as the average, which can result in higher insurance premiums for everyone.”

Shaheen then highlighted the personal experience of Donald and Kathy Cavallaro from Rye, NH who faced a surprise medical bill of $5,000 when the doctor performing Kathy’s emergency surgery turned out to not be covered by their insurance. Shaheen pointed out that this is unfortunately not a rare occurrence. “1 in 6 emergency room visits in New Hampshire result in a surprise bill for Granite Staters who have large employer coverage. Nationally, the average cost of a surprise bill from an emergency room visit is more than $600. And the average surprise bill for inpatient care is over $2,000.  Surprise bills like these can easily put a family budget in the red and Congress desperately needs to put a stop to them.”

Shaheen concluded by urging her Senate colleagues to tune out these special interests and move forward with efforts to end the practice of surprise medical billing, “This is about making sure that when a Granite Stater or any American goes to the hospital that they can have faith that their insurance will cover their costs… These advertisements should also serve as a reminder that Congress must reform our broken campaign finance system. So, in closing Madame President, I want to send a very clear message: I don’t care how many ads these special interests run, how many mailers they send or how many millions they spend… Health care costs are completely out of control and tackling surprise medical bills must remain at the top of the Senate’s agenda.” https://www.shaheen.senate.gov/news/press/on-senate-floor-shaheen-calls-out-dark-money-special-interests-trying-to-derail-congresss-effort-to-end-surprise-medical-billing

Mystery Solved: Private-Equity-Backed Firms Are Behind Ad Blitz on ‘Surprise Billing’ Two doctor-staffing companies are pushing back against legislation that could hit their bottom lines. By Margot Sanger-Katz, Julie Creswell and Reed Abelson Published Sept. 13, 2019 Updated Sept. 16, 2019 , NYT: https://archive.li/aWzpm

Shaheen Statement on Bipartisan Compromise to End Surprise Medical Billing, Lower Health Care Costs DECEMBER 09, 2019
(Washington, DC) — U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued the following statement in response to the bipartisan, bicameral agreement reached by Senate and House committee leadership to reduce health care costs, which includes an effort to end surprise medical billing, lower prescription drug costs and fund Community Health Centers for five years

“I’m very encouraged by the bipartisan agreement reached to clamp down on surprise medical bills and urge leadership to hold a vote on surprise billing legislation as soon as possible,” said Shaheen. “These surprise bills often cost thousands of dollars which can easily put a family budget in the red. Congress must overcome special interest opposition to addressing this issue so that we can rein in health care costs and deliver much-needed savings for Granite State families and Americans across the country.”  

Senator Shaheen has fought to end surprise medical billing, and because of her efforts, was targeted by a dark money ad campaign that sought to thwart bipartisan work on this issue. On the Senate floor earlier this year, Shaheen called out these underhanded tactics and reaffirmed her commitment to work across the aisle to end the scourge of surprise medical billing.” https://www.shaheen.senate.gov/news/press/shaheen-statement-on-bipartisan-compromise-to-end-surprise-medical-billing-lower-health-care-costs