U.S. lawmakers trying to fight surprise medical bills could get some help from President Donald Trump when he outlines measures he can support in legislation to limit such bills.
Surprise medical bills, which can amount to tens of thousands of dollars, are unexpected charges that insured patients are hit with when a member of their health care team is not in their insurer’s network, the Associated Press reported. For months, Republican and Democratic lawmakers have been trying to tackle the issue, and White House support improves the chances of making progress.
Senior White House officials said Trump will address the issue in a speech on Thursday, the AP reported. Ahead of the speech, leaders of a House committee said they are ready to move legislation.
“No family should be left in financial ruin through no fault of their own, which is why we have been working together on a bipartisan solution to protect patients that we hope to announce soon,” Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, D-N.J., and ranking Republican Greg Walden, R-Ore., said in a joint statement, the AP reported.
Surprise bills can be a problem for patients treated for medical emergencies, and Trump is expected to say that those patients should not have to pay more than the amount paid to in-network providers.
The new legislation should also protect patients seeking elective care by ensuring that they’re fully informed beforehand about which providers are considered out of network and the extra costs that will incur, the AP reported.