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Washington, D.C.-- FreedomWorks, along with representatives of 16 other conservative organizations, joined together to call on lawmakers to remain vigilant against any proposals that expand government’s reach in the healthcare system by setting rates as a solution to surprise billing. Legislative action is needed to end surprise bills, but rate-setting is not the proper solution.
The repercussions of the Affordable Care Act have proven that government intrusion in the private healthcare market increases costs and narrows insurance plan networks. Reasonable coverage for a majority of patients under these circumstances is becoming unavailable resulting in a fractured healthcare system that relies on balance billing to pay the bills.
Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle are introducing harmful legislation that includes price controls to reform our healthcare system. The most obvious proposals come from 2020 presidential hopefuls like Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) Medicare for All approach, or Sen. Kamala Harris’ (D-CA) push for the elimination of private health insurance. However, most surprising is the proposal led by Republican Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) whose bill calls for government rate-setting to negotiate surprise bills.
“Government forcing this approach in the private market will further distort free-market economics and do little to protect Americans from rising healthcare costs or the limited coverage networks driving the increase in surprise medical bills,” the coalition leaders write, agreeing on the principle that rate-setting of any kind will suppress competition and innovation and harm American competitiveness and investment. Signers to the letter include Adam Brandon of FreedomWorks, Tom Schatz of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, and David Williams of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance.
Whether it is a Medicare rate, or 125 percent of average allowed amounts, as proposed in Senator Cassidy’s draft legislation, this is rate setting by the federal government for non-governmental programs—that is, healthcare accessed in the private marketplace. With the support of 16 other conservative leaders, FreedomWorks is calling on lawmakers to steer clear of these dangerous government interventionist policies, and to create solutions that empower consumers to make their own healthcare decisions.