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 video featuring free-market analysts and activists urging lawmakers to reject healthcare rate-setting. The video’s release comes almost exactly one month after a letter signed by more than 160 economists warned that government interference in healthcare via price-controls “would hurt access to care, especially for patients in rural areas.” Despite these warnings, lawmakers such as Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) are considering capping doctors’ pay as a part of the next phase of Coronavirus-related relief legislation during a time when doctors and nurses are being lauded for their heroic work in treating COVID-19 patients.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Coalition Against Rate-Setting (CARS) urged Congress to keep the next Coronavirus relief bill clean and reject any attempts by lawmakers to institute rate-setting (price controls) as a way to “fix” surprise medical billing. Surprise medical billing occurs when patients discharged from an in-network hospital receive an out-of-network bill from an attending doctor. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) have indicated their willingness to insert rate-setting into the next relief bill to address this issue, despite well-documented evidence on the harms of healthcare price controls. CARS, a nationwide coalition of free market and consumer groups has doubled in membership from 14 in January to 29 today. A full listing of the organizations in CARS can be found here.
24 free-market groups sent a letter to House and Senate Leadership urging them to reject any attempt to include language in a Coronavirus legislative package that would seek to address surprise medical billing by creating a government-mandated benchmark (i.e. rate-setting) to determine out-of-network rates for physicians.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Coalition Against Rate-Setting (CARS) welcomed several state-based think tanks as new members of the coalition. These groups include: Idaho Freedom Foundation, Mississippi Center for Public Policy, Pegasus Institute (Kentucky), Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity, and the Rio Grande Foundation (New Mexico). The newly-added members have expressed strong opposition to lawmakers using federal rate-setting, or price controls, to “solve” the issue of surprise medical billing. These provisions are included in legislation that has been considered by several House and Senate committees.
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.