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Brady: Biden Administration’s Wasteful Appeal of Surprise Billing Ruling Disregards Clear Language of the Law

Biden Admin's "actions confirm they intend to tilt the careful balance of the law to favor special interests over patients and physicians"

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Washington, April 26, 2022 | comments

After the Biden Administration announced it would appeal the Texas District Court’s ruling that reasserted Congress’s clear writing of the No Surprises Act, Ways and Means Republican Leader Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) issued the following statement:

“It’s disappointing the Biden Administration has announced it will appeal the Court’s decision to uphold Congress’s bipartisan ban on surprise billing. By choosing to fight both Congress and the Court, their actions confirm they intend to tilt the careful balance of the law to favor special interests over patients and physicians. 

“The Biden Administration is already woefully late in implementing key provisions of historic consumer protections in this law. This will only create further delay. Patients and their families deserve better.”

Background: 

  • In December 2020 Congress passed, and President Trump signed, the bipartisan No Surprises Act to put an end to the nefarious practice of surprise medical billing, a strong patient-centered reform that ensures that no patient will ever have to delay care or fear financial ruin because of a surprise bill.
  • The most significant patient protection that actually lowers the cost of care in the 21st Century, the No Surprises Act is fair and lowers the price of health care services for consumers by ending abusive practices that drive up premiums and out-of-pocket costs for everyone.
  • After the No Surprises Act was enacted, the Biden Administration issued a controversial “interim” rule that placed greater weight on “median in-network rates” than other factors when resolving payment disputes.
  • The Eastern District of Texas Court amended the Biden Administration’s “interim” rule to better comply with the clear legislative language in the No Surprises Act. Rep. Brady and Ways and Means Chairman Richard D. Neal (D-MA) hailed the decision: “Yesterday’s decision affirms that the No Surprises Act, as written, will continue to protect patients but must swiftly be implemented according to the letter of the law to ensure fairness in resolving surprise medical billing disputes. A level playing field is essential. Processes that tip the scales towards either party are untenable, and will result in worse outcomes for patients.”
  • The Court’s revised guidance will remain in place while the Biden Administration’s appeal plays out.
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