PRICE- FIXING                       


 Stop flirting with big-government, price-control healthcare solutions, and join the bipartisan team advancing the STOP Act.


More and more Americans across the country are falling victim to surprise medical billing.

Surprise medical billing happens when some of the healthcare a patient receives, especially in emergency situations, is deemed out of the network by their insurance provider.

This leads to Americans getting hit with large, unexpected medical bills when their insurance company refuses to pay for out of network procedures.

That’s why ending surprise medical billing for Americans is a priority for all members of Congress.

Unfortunately, the solution proposed by the Lower Health Care Costs Act (LHCC), introduced by Senator Lamar Alexander (TN) is to introduce government-mandated price control for medical procedures.

Letting government bureaucracy further into our healthcare system and dictating costs that doctors and healthcare providers can charge is a recipe for disaster, creating further strain on our healthcare industry, especially in rural areas that are already struggling to retain doctors and provider through a process called Independent 

Dispute Resolution (IDR).

IDR is a proven process that was adopted as part of New York’s solution to surprise billing, a solution that has seen success and protected New Yorkers from out of network charges for their healthcare.

It comes as no surprise though that big insurance companies are opposing the ideas of IDRs and are instead pushing Congress to favor government price-fixing solutions that would let insurers low ball payouts to doctors and healthcare providers.

The academic mouthpiece leading the charge against free-market solutions for surprise billing has been Loren Adler, Associate Director of USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy. Most notable has been his critical review of the report released by the state of New York regarding their IDR approach.

But Adler’s claims of the New York law driving healthcare costs up was greeted with skepticism when it was revealed that his research omitted 33% of IRD cases.

What’s more, Sen. Bill Cassidy said that, while New York’s use of IDR helped provide inspiration, the STOP Act actually expands upon the concept, which even Mr. Adler admits makes the STOP Act “leagues better” than the New York approach.

But it appears that insurers and their cheerleaders like Loren Adler aren’t interested in building upon established solutions when they can just pressure Congress to default to the idea of government price control solutions that favor big insurance companies.

What’s most alarming though is the number of usual free-market Republicans taking the bait and advocating for these government intervention healthcare policies that are more at home in Bernie Sander’s wing of the Democrat party.

Sen. Bill Cassidy’s bi-partisan Stop Act improves upon an existing approach that is protecting patients from surprise billing and creating a vehicle for healthcare providers and insurers to resolve cost disputes. It’s a common-sense solution to anyone that’s paying attention.

This is why our elected officials, especially those usually known for espousing free-market principles, should stop flirting with big-government, price-control healthcare solutions and join the bipartisan team advancing the STOP Act.

Gerrye Johnston

Founder and CEO

Men and Women for Representative Democracy in America, Inc.