July 12, 2019
The Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted by voice vote to pass an HR Policy-supported bipartisan bill (H.R. 3630) to reduce out-of-pocket health care costs, including using a federal benchmark to resolve surprise medical bills.
The benchmark reimbursement rate would be based on the median in-network rate for a procedure in a geographic area, the same approach included in the bipartisan bill the Senate HELP Committee passed at the end of June.
Looking ahead: Next week, the full House Energy and Commerce Committee will vote on the bill and it will then be considered by the House Education and Labor Committee and Ways and Means Committee before moving to the House floor sometime this fall. Meanwhile, there continues to be opposition from provider groups to the mechanism for resolving disputes. A bipartisan group of representatives and senators are working on adding some type of arbitration process and other provider safeguards to the bills as they move through the legislative process.