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.
Surprise medical billing is an unfair business practice in which some medical providers engage to the detriment of patients.
We write to extend our appreciation for holding this hearing on surprise billing. While we agree Congress should consider federal solutions to protect patients from receiving surprise bills, we urge the committee to reject legislation that proposes the expansion of government in the healthcare system through government-set rates. Doing this will be bad for the healthcare system and expose taxpayers to billions of dollars in added costs.