Washington, D.C., June 26, 2019 — The American Heart Association released the following statement about the Lowering Health Care Costs Act of 2019 which is being marked up by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions today:
“The rising costs of health care continue to be a barrier to treatment and services for millions of Americans. More than 57% of Americans, including many with cardiovascular disease and stroke, have received a surprise bill that they thought would be paid for by their insurance.
“The American Heart Association is pleased to see the Committee taking action on this important topic. The Lowering Health Care Costs Act of 2019, includes several provisions we strongly support including:
- Ending surprise medical bills - This legislation holds patients and consumers harmless, allowing them to focus on their course of treatment and recovery - instead of their finances - during a medical event. This legislation also ensures that patients would be protected from surprise medical bills for costly air ambulance rides.
- Improving provider directory information – A provision which requires directories to be kept up to date so that consumers can make informed choices about where to receive care.
- Timely bills for patients – Sets up billing practices that would improve predictability and reduce confusion for patients and consumers.
“Additionally, we support Sections 414 and 415 of this legislation, that increase the federal age of sale for tobacco products to 21 and amend the Synar provisions without requiring states to pass laws that could jeopardize state and local public health protections against tobacco use or put state substance abuse funding at risk.
“We appreciate the Committee’s leadership in addressing systemic costs and barriers to care for patients and look forward to continuing to work with Congressional leadership to reduce costs, improve protections for patients, strengthen our public health system, and develop meaningful transparency tools.”
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We are a trustworthy source empowering people to improve their heart health, brain health and well-being. We collaborate with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies and share lifesaving resources and information. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.
For media inquiries please contact: