GOP Senators Propose Lowering Healthcare Costs, Increasing Transparency

BERLIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 05: A doctor speaks with a patient about her high blood pressure, or hypertension, on September 5, 2012 in Berlin, Germany. Doctors in the country are demanding higher payments from health insurance companies (Krankenkassen). Over 20 doctors' associations are expected to hold a vote this week …
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Sens. Joni Ernst (R-IA), Mike Braun (R-IN), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced legislation on Thursday that would reportedly lower healthcare costs and increase healthcare transparency.

The three senators introduced the Healthcare PRICE Transparency Act, which would codify President Donald Trump’s healthcare price transparency executive orders. Trump’s executive orders would require hospitals and insurers to disclose their low, discounted cash prices and negotiated rates to consumers before they receive medical care.

Ernst said in a statement on Thursday that increasing healthcare transparency would allow Americans to make more informed healthcare decisions.

She said:

Every year on my 99 County Tour, I hear from folks who are concerned about the high costs of health care. Iowans should be able to access information about the costs associated with their health care in advance, so that they can make the best decisions for themselves and their families. By improving transparency we can increase competition, empower patients, and ultimately lower health care costs. I’m glad to join my colleagues in support of this bill which is a critical step toward achieving these important goals.

The Health Care Price Transparency Act would require hospitals to:

  • Provide patients clear information about “standard charges” for their services, making it easier for consumers to compare different hospitals’ services.
  • Make all hospital charges public.
  • Make public negotiated rates and charges, cash prices public.

The legislation would require insurers to:

  • Give patients access to cost-sharing information.
  • Publish cost-sharing information online, which would allow consumers to shop and compare costs between different providers.
  • Disclose insurers’ negotiated rates for in-network providers and amounts paid for out-of-network providers.

Braun said that this legislation would increase competition and lower healthcare costs. He said:

As a Main Street Entrepreneur who provided quality healthcare to my employees, this legislation will give Americans the chance to see the true costs of their healthcare visits, which will increase competition and lower healthcare costs. President Trump has been the leader on healthcare reform and this legislation takes his executive orders and makes it the law of the land, which is a win for all Americans.

Grassley, the Senate Finance Chairman, said

An extra dose of transparency will bring more accountability and competition to the health care industry. It’s time for Americans to have more financial information available to them when going to the hospital and working with their insurance companies.

“I applaud President Trump’s continued commitment to bringing more sunlight to the health care industry,” he added.

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.

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