Bill passed to lower health care costs

Legislation to limit out-of-network costs

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Two days after President Donald Trump issued an executive order designed to increase the transparency in health care cost, senators on the health care committee voted to push forward new legislation to make big changes to the American health care system.

Alarming new statistics finds one in six Americans are hit with a surprise bill after a trip to a hospital they thought was covered by their insurance.

This new legislation hopes to end those unexpected bills.

The Lower Health Care Costs Act is a bipartisan package and the result of more than two years of discussion and questioning on how to reduce what Americans pay out of their own pocket for health care.

“This is an issue that I think we all recognize we have to address,” said Lisa Murkowski, Arkansas Senator.

“Up to half of health care costs are unnecessary and that’s the focus for today,” said Lamar Alexander, Tennessee Senator.

The Senate Health Care Committee, lead by Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander, passed the bill 20-3 Wednesday morning.

The legislation tackles surprise medical bills patients receive after choosing an in-network hospital but are then treated by an out-of-network specialty physician who works at the hospital.

The bill requires patients pay only their in-network rates for out-of-network care.

“It is completely outrageous that patients do everything they can to ensure their care is in their insurance network and yet they still open the mail to find huge, unanticipated medical bills,” said Maggie Hassan, New Hampshire Senator.

This plan to ease the headache of growing health care costs calls for initiatives to help lower-cost generic drugs reach the market faster and for cost transparency.

Copyright 2019 WMC. All rights reserved.