For Immediate Release
Washington, DC – The following statement should be attributed to Annette Guarisco Fildes, President and CEO of The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC):
“Congress has a bipartisan compromise, ready to go, that would end the surprise medical billing crisis, implement transparency in health care, fund public health programs, repeal damaging health care taxes, and achieve a number of other critical health care objectives. Leaving Washington without getting this done would be a tragedy.
It’s time to pass the Lower Health Care Costs Act (S. 1895), and protect patients from surprise medical billing. Congress has debated this issue for two years and developed a reasonable compromise on how to move forward – suggestions that more time and debate is needed, at this point, are little more than gifts to the investor-owned provider practices who continue to prey upon patients with these outrageous billing practices. Leaders like Chairmen Alexander (R-TN) and Pallone (D-NJ), and Ranking Members Murray (D-WA) and Walden (R-OR) had legislation ready to go many months ago. The idea that the process must start over, without even a legislative counter-proposal, appears to be a stalling tactic designed by opponents of fairness to push this debate into the 2020 election season, and ensure that nothing gets done for patients.
Further, Congress should move immediately to pass the Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act (H.R. 748) and repeal the ‘Cadillac’ tax. With the House having passed this bill by a vote of 419 to 6, and more than 60 Senators cosponsoring, there is no longer any excuse not to bring this legislation to a vote. If reports are accurate that Congressional leadership has agreed to repeal the ‘Cadillac’ tax along with the ACA’s tax on medical devices and the so-called ‘HIT’ tax on fully-insured health plans, then the time to act is now, before Congress moves to recess.
If Congress fails to act this year, then patients may have little to look forward to in 2020. America’s workers, and patients, deserve better.”