Senate-House Deal on Surprise Medical Bills Won’t End the Problem

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Posted: Jan 16, 2020 12:01 AM

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After months of gridlock, the House and Senate have reached a deal on surprise medical bills. The latest agreement between the Senate’s Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and the House’s Committee on Energy and Commerce is a concoction of failed policies and insurance lobbyist talking points that call for the government to set fixed prices on medical services. Insurance companies would, of course, have a hand in deciding those prices. That’s why they have spent $50 million on mobilizing their army of special-interest influencers to pressure lawmakers into accepting a bad deal. Like Obamacare, it’ll enrich the insurance industry. But it won’t end surprise medical bills.

For one, the lawmakers who crafted the deal violated a cardinal sin in policymaking: they looked to California for guidance. Nowadays, good legislation doesn’t come out of California. “As California goes, so goes the country,” the once political golden rule, now has a different meaning: follow California at your own peril! But lawmakers have yet to heed this warning.

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