U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River) says he’s confident the fight to stop surprise medical billings will win the approval of Congress and be signed into law by President Trump.
“The president had me down to the White House when this matter first came up, and we did a news conference together on it,” Walden said. “He’s all about solving it, and so I think he’ll sign it if we get it down to him.”
Walden said the surprise medical bills occur more frequently when a person is receiving emergency medical treatment. A health professional will order a test or procedure that is carried out by a provider that is not approved by the ailing person’s health insurance company.
He cited one instance of a woman who gave birth, and her infant began to bleed out. The newborn was rushed to the neonatal care facility just down the hall from the delivery room, where the child was treated for hemophilia. Later, the new mother received a $50,000 bill from that facility because it was not an approved provider by her insurance company.
Walden said that at a time like this, determining if someone is approved within his or her healthcare network is the last thing that comes to mind. He also said it is a shame that surprise billing has become such a big problem that the federal government has to get involved.
“This should never have landed on our laps,” he said. “But, somehow – between the providers, the insurance companies, the hospitals – they’ve created this mess, and the consumers are getting stuck with these bills.”