For Immediate Release
February 4, 2020
Contact: Grace Morgan
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) applauded President Trump for reiterating the need to tackle the pressing problem of surprise medical billing in tonight’s State of the Union address. In his address to the nation, President Trump detailed the struggles of millions of Americans who have received surprise bills in the mail days or even weeks after being discharged from a medical facility. Though the President didn’t indicate whether his administration would reject misguided rate-setting proposals, TPA President David Williams expressed optimism that President Trump would reject socialist government price-fixing and embrace market-based alternatives such as arbitration.
Williams noted: “Unfortunately, surprise billing continues to impact millions of Americans treated by out-of-network physicians at in-network hospitals and clinics. President Trump has identified surprise billing as a foremost priority for his administration as insurance networks get narrower and 1 in 7 patients get unwanted medical bills in the mail each year. The President rightly slammed socialism in his State of the Union. In order to solve the problem of surprise bills, the President must reject socialist price-fixing schemes which would lead to hospital closures across the country.”
Williams continued: “Lawmakers such as Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) have proposed ‘solving’ the issue of surprise medical billing by having Washington, D.C. bureaucrats dictate prices to physicians. These elected officials have been trying to get President Trump to weigh in in favor of their disastrous proposal, but the administration has wisely opted to stay on the sidelines. The experience of California demonstrates that wherever rate-setting becomes the law of the land, patients have fewer choices and face far greater difficulty in obtaining access to quality healthcare.”
Williams concluded: “After implementing a price-fixing ‘solution’ in 2017, doctors across California reported consolidating their practices in response to less revenue and more red-tape. It’s no surprise that access care complaints skyrocketed nearly 50 percent post-implementation. President Trump has wisely decided not to endorse this approach and TPA remains hopeful that President Trump will choose to champion the market-based arbitration approach spearheaded by Florida and New York. Thanks to the proven system in New York, out-of-network billing is down 34 percent and patients, doctors, and insurers are largely satisfied with a fair, even-keeled system. President Trump must reject rate-setting and embrace arbitration for the sake of millions of patients.”