‘Lower Health Care Costs’ Bill Won’t Help Patients’ Pocketbooks, But Will Put Health Plans in Charge of What Doctors Get Paid

‘Lower Health Care Costs’ Bill Won’t Help Patients’ Pocketbooks, But Will Put Health Plans in Charge of What Doctors Get Paid

These Price Controls, Says Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom, Will Actually Raise Prices and Reduce Patient Access to Doctors

ST. PAUL, Minn.—As the U.S. Senate and House return to work in Washington, D.C., this week, Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF, www.cchfreedom.org) is alerting lawmakers and the public about the “Lower Health Care Costs” bill and how it will actually hurt rather than help patients.

According to The Hill, Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) unveiled the bill in June in an attempt to put an end to surprise medical bills that occur when patients receive care from an out-of-network doctor. “It also,” The Hill reports, “cracks down on anti-competitive clauses in hospital contracts with insurers that can drive up costs, and encourages the introduction of cheaper generic drugs.”

“The name of the bill, ‘Lower Health Care Costs,’ is so enticing for people hurt by Obamacare’s high prices,” said CCHF president and co-founder Twila Brase. “But we must look beyond the name to the actual language. Like most Americans wrongly believe HIPAA protects privacy because the name says ‘privacy,’ Congress wants us to wrongly believe this bill will lower costs.

“But the deceptively titled ‘Lower Health Care Costs’ bill will impose price controls, put health plans like Aetna and Anthem in charge of what doctors get paid, cause doctors to retire early, reduce access to care and create a massive federal database of private patient information,” she continued. “It won’t lower costs, but it will raise prices and limit access to care. It’s a disastrous charade. Americans should not believe the name for a minute.”

Such a measure, Brase added, could allow the government to limit what out-of-network doctors can charge patients, which would likely send many independent doctors for the exits. Using price controls, Congress’ proposal would essentially socialize physicians to help patients out of the mess created by the health plan networks Congress put in place and empowered.

“A bill like this will also eliminate a physician’s right to participate in a free market,” Brase said. “It will not protect patients, but it will protect insurers by forcing out-of-network physicians, by law, to accept a similar level of payment from patients as in-network physicians agree to by contract. As a result, we can expect fewer and fewer physicians left to care for patients. Price controls lead to shortages, in this case, of physicians needed by patients.”

Brase writes about socialized medicine and government and health plan control of treatment decisions in her award-winning book, Big Brother in the Exam Room: The Dangerous Truth About Electronic Health Records,” which also exposes how the mandated, government-certified electronic health record technology has negatively affected doctors and patients. “Big Brother in the Exam Room” also shows how and why Congress forced doctors and hospitals to install a data-collecting, command-and-control surveillance system in each exam room, as well as details the privacy-stealing HIPAA rule (Section IV), patient privacy, health freedom and how the Affordable Care Act has harmed patients and doctors since 2010. Learn more at www.BigBrotherintheExamRoom.com.

For more information about CCHF, visit www.cchfreedom.org, its Facebook page or its Twitter feed @CCHFreedom. Also view the media page for CCHF here. For more CCHF reports on health privacy and surveillance, visit the CCHF privacy page. For more about CCHF’s initiative to protect newborn DNA, visit www.itsmydna.org.