In the Fall of 2020, Congress acted to address consumer concerns over high medical costs, specifically targeting a practice known as “surprise billing.” The legislation “addresses those charges that result from a long-running practice in which out of network medical providers – from doctors to air ambulance companies – send insured Americans “surprise bills,” sometimes for tens of thousands of dollars, over and above their plan deductibles and expected out of pocket. (For more on the bill, check out this original NPR Article – and this “No Surprises” update from Kaiser ). What is your reaction to this development – given the other readings/lectures this week…. Is this an over-reach by Congress? Should providers be allowed to NOT join networks, not agree to contracted rates and subsequently bill patients as they choose? Should there be exceptions? Is consumer protection in this case more important than free-market rate setting?
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