June 26, 2019 | Chip Kahn
Today’s HELP Committee legislation unfortunately misses the mark. While hospitals agree with the overarching aim of the Lower Health Care Costs Act, key provisions of this will ultimately lead to higher prices and fewer options for patients.
We are united with other hospital groups to protect patients and end the problem of surprise billing. This bill solves the immediate problem for patients, but the unintended consequences of rate setting will lead to more narrow networks and a precedent of government interference in free market negotiations.
FAH appreciates the bipartisan group of Senators who today voiced significant concern about rate setting.
In a letter sent to Committee leaders, community hospitals also expressed our concerns with contracting provisions contained in this legislation. These could hit vulnerable communities hardest by limiting access to care – especially in rural areas and inner cities.
We remain opposed to this legislative package as currently constructed and look forward to working with lawmakers on solutions that address health care affordability without limiting access.