Republicans and Democrats have continued to struggled to find common ground on what should be in the next round of coronavirus relief. More for schools? For state and local governments? The negotiations have seemed to stall for now, but one thing legislators must stay away from as they aim for a final draft is price controls. Price controls, or benchmarking, would be a disaster for America’s healthcare industry. Rural hospitals already operating with razor thin margins would be forced to close and many Americans would lose reliable healthcare access. So, what should be in the final coronavirus relief package? We know one thing that shouldn’t – price controls.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Coalition Against Rate-Setting (CARS) released a letter signed by more than 160 economists opposing healthcare rate-setting in any legislation, especially any potential forthcoming COVID-19 relief legislation. In the letter, the economists warn that, “No matter the policy area, government price controls often result in shortages and market distortions. These outcomes should be avoided, especially when dealing with important health care services like emergency room visits and physician care.” The economists’ letter is timely given reports that Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) want to insert healthcare price-fixing into “Phase 4” Coronavirus relief legislation.
The Coalition Against Rate Setting sent a letter to House Education and Labor Chairman Bobby Scott and Ranking Member Virginia Foxx. This letter urged members of the House Education and Labor committee to reject rate-setting as a solution to the issue of surprise medical bills.
The Coalition Against Rate Setting sent a letter to House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal and Ranking Member Kevin Brady. This letter urged members of the House Ways and Means committee to reject rate-setting as a solution to the issue of surprise medical bills.