Like Causes?

Install the App
TRY NOW

senate Bill S. 1531

Should Patients be Protected From Surprise Medical Bills?

Argument in favor

Surprise medical bills are an unwelcome surprise for too many Americans. This bill would set a new process for ensuring that patients seeking needed care aren’t financially burdened by their pursuit of medical services.

Renee's Opinion
···
08/26/2019
Yes. Patients should be provided an estimate of the cost for services provided prior to treatment.
Like (65)
Follow
Share
jimK's Opinion
···
08/26/2019
There are two issues. First, you generally have no good idea how much the total bill for an emergency room visit or hospital stay could be. There are generally quite a few services and specialists involved who each contribute to the total bill. Second, it is often unclear what the health insurer has negotiated as the acceptable pricing for these services and what they will actually cover. Sure, you cannot know all of the costs in advance because there may be additional needs depending upon your condition and other factors requiring medical attention. Solutions include having negotiated norms for charges that the provider must adhere to if they are to be listed with an insurer, requiring insurers to have clear cut rules for coverage that are clearly defined for insurance purchasers, have insurance provider exchanges which include these details as well as public user ratings of the quality of insurance services provided, and allowing users to periodically change plans based upon their own trade-off of cost vs coverage vs quality. Medicare part A and B provides clear, consistent coverage and excellent negotiated 'acceptable' charges for services. It could be better, but it is an excellent starting place, As an example, my wife recently had spinal surgery involving spinal fusions and a bunch of other stuff. The total provider charges exceeded $300,000.00. The total of Medicare payments and coverage from a good supplemental insurance plan was on the order of $30,000 and I had no out-of-pocket expenses at all. I pay a lot extra for the combination of part B and supplemental insurance but at our age it seems very worth the extra cost. The point is, that without the Medicare or other insurer's negotiated allowable charges, the overall paid-for costs would be fully 10 times greater! The providers of scheduled services know very well what is covered and what is not per a persons insurance plan. They generally have assessed your ability to pay before scheduling procedures and they could and certainly should provide a realistic ball park estimate to prospective patients- allowing them to trade-off medical urgency vs financial jeopardy.
Like (46)
Follow
Share
Amy's Opinion
···
08/26/2019
Cannot believe this has to be put into law. Only thing in the US that we literally can’t live without, health care, and we go into surgery or other life saving treatments and we have no idea what we will owe. How stupid is this! We don’t even handle car repairs or medical care for our pets this way! We are some of the most gullible people on this Earth. And people say single payer is going in the wrong direction! Seriously. Wake up America!
Like (37)
Follow
Share

Argument opposed

The arbitration provision in this bill is opposed by some industry groups that say it’s a “snipe hunt” that distracts from broader issues regarding health services pricing. It could also wind up being more expensive than other pricing models, such as network pricing or regulated prices.

Alex's Opinion
···
08/26/2019
This doesn’t address the ridiculous costs of American healthcare. We need Medicare for all.
Like (58)
Follow
Share
David's Opinion
···
08/26/2019
This clearly is a backdoor approach to universal health insurance. There are no surprises when you sign a contract with your health insurance company and they follow the contract.
Like (10)
Follow
Share
NoHedges's Opinion
···
08/26/2019
Nay, this piece of “new legislation” follows a very predictable pattern. 1. Headline asks a stupid question 2. Sponsored by a Republican 3. Research reveals “new legislation” being purposed is either a remake with less support for the voters or it is simply a piece of legislation being duplicated from one department to another. 4. I vote no, and wonder when Republicans are going to get serious about their image as sentient humans.
Like (6)
Follow
Share
    Yes. Patients should be provided an estimate of the cost for services provided prior to treatment.
    Like (65)
    Follow
    Share
    This doesn’t address the ridiculous costs of American healthcare. We need Medicare for all.
    Like (58)
    Follow
    Share
    There are two issues. First, you generally have no good idea how much the total bill for an emergency room visit or hospital stay could be. There are generally quite a few services and specialists involved who each contribute to the total bill. Second, it is often unclear what the health insurer has negotiated as the acceptable pricing for these services and what they will actually cover. Sure, you cannot know all of the costs in advance because there may be additional needs depending upon your condition and other factors requiring medical attention. Solutions include having negotiated norms for charges that the provider must adhere to if they are to be listed with an insurer, requiring insurers to have clear cut rules for coverage that are clearly defined for insurance purchasers, have insurance provider exchanges which include these details as well as public user ratings of the quality of insurance services provided, and allowing users to periodically change plans based upon their own trade-off of cost vs coverage vs quality. Medicare part A and B provides clear, consistent coverage and excellent negotiated 'acceptable' charges for services. It could be better, but it is an excellent starting place, As an example, my wife recently had spinal surgery involving spinal fusions and a bunch of other stuff. The total provider charges exceeded $300,000.00. The total of Medicare payments and coverage from a good supplemental insurance plan was on the order of $30,000 and I had no out-of-pocket expenses at all. I pay a lot extra for the combination of part B and supplemental insurance but at our age it seems very worth the extra cost. The point is, that without the Medicare or other insurer's negotiated allowable charges, the overall paid-for costs would be fully 10 times greater! The providers of scheduled services know very well what is covered and what is not per a persons insurance plan. They generally have assessed your ability to pay before scheduling procedures and they could and certainly should provide a realistic ball park estimate to prospective patients- allowing them to trade-off medical urgency vs financial jeopardy.
    Like (46)
    Follow
    Share
    Cannot believe this has to be put into law. Only thing in the US that we literally can’t live without, health care, and we go into surgery or other life saving treatments and we have no idea what we will owe. How stupid is this! We don’t even handle car repairs or medical care for our pets this way! We are some of the most gullible people on this Earth. And people say single payer is going in the wrong direction! Seriously. Wake up America!
    Like (37)
    Follow
    Share
    Protect Americans from predatory health insurers!
    Like (28)
    Follow
    Share
    Universal single payer healthcare system NOW
    Like (21)
    Follow
    Share
    This kind of legislation barely even scratches the surface of the problems with our healthcare system and really just seems like an attempt by Congress to make it appear that they’re actually doing something substantial on healthcare. If you really want to protect people, pass Medicare-for-all!
    Like (20)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes, of course, Americans should be protected from hidden medical expenses. I have had the good fortune to have lived in both Canada (10 years) and the Netherlands (3 years), where medical expenses are covered and much lower on a per patient basis. In the USA, healthcare has unfortunately become a wealth-extraction sector. Most of the politicians have become captured by for-profit HC company bribes.
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    This clearly is a backdoor approach to universal health insurance. There are no surprises when you sign a contract with your health insurance company and they follow the contract.
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    As with any transaction you should have all the information and cost presented to you before services are rendered.
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    Patients should fully know what they need to pay so that they can fully plan on how to pay it so that they won’t be surprised by a new bill which could potentially ruin their financial future.
    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes
    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
    This is an absolute must! Please pass a bill to protect people from healthcare billing. Transparency is absent from this area and has to improve.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    The fact that we have to ask is scary
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    I fully support and recommend passage of this bill as written. #MAGA
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes, common sense legislation
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    Nay, this piece of “new legislation” follows a very predictable pattern. 1. Headline asks a stupid question 2. Sponsored by a Republican 3. Research reveals “new legislation” being purposed is either a remake with less support for the voters or it is simply a piece of legislation being duplicated from one department to another. 4. I vote no, and wonder when Republicans are going to get serious about their image as sentient humans.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    We need transparency in medical costs to give Americans the ability to control their medical spending. In what other cases do we receive something, either a service or good, and legally bound to pay for it before we have at least a cost estimate? If a car repair costs 10x the estimate, I am not bound to the contract. Medical services should be no different.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    This is a no brainer, once you went through all the works with the hospital, doctor and insurance that you are approved for a procedure, only to find out some non preferred “Slimball” stepped in and billed you. The hospital should eat this. This has to stop!
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    I totally agree with jimK on his statement below. Yes we should know what these services should cost prior to the service being rendered. But due to the fact this proposal is repugnant backed makes me say No. There are two issues. First, you generally have no good idea how much the total bill for an emergency room visit or hospital stay could be. There are generally quite a few services and specialists involved who each contribute to the total bill. Second, it is often unclear what the health insurer has negotiated as the acceptable pricing for these services and what they will actually cover. Sure, you cannot know all of the costs in advance because there may be additional needs depending upon your condition and other factors requiring medical attention. Solutions include having negotiated norms for charges that the provider must adhere to if they are to be listed with an insurer, requiring insurers to have clear cut rules for coverage that are clearly defined for insurance purchasers, have insurance provider exchanges which include these details as well as public user ratings of the quality of insurance services provided, and allowing users to periodically change plans based upon their own trade-off of cost vs coverage vs quality. Medicare part A and B provides clear, consistent coverage and excellent negotiated 'acceptable' charges for services. It could be better, but it is an excellent starting place, As an example, my wife recently had spinal surgery involving spinal fusions and a bunch of other stuff. The total provider charges exceeded $300,000.00. The total of Medicare payments and coverage from a good supplemental insurance plan was on the order of $30,000 and I had no out-of-pocket expenses at all. I pay a lot extra for the combination of part B and supplemental insurance but at our age it seems very worth the extra cost. The point is, that without the Medicare or other insurer's negotiated allowable charges, the overall paid-for costs would be fully 10 times greater! The providers of scheduled services know very well what is covered and what is not per a persons insurance plan. They generally have assessed your ability to pay before scheduling procedures and they could and certainly should provide a realistic ball park estimate to prospective patients- allowing them to trade-off medical urgency vs financial jeopardy.
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    MORE