The Senate will wait until after the August recess to vote on a health care bill that would require health benefits brokers to disclose their commissions, The Hill reported today.
The Lower Health Care Costs Act was introduced by Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. The bill takes aim at a number of issues, including surprise medical bills, high drug prices and public health problems. Buried in the bill is a requirement that health benefits brokers reveal fees and other enticements they receive from the insurance industry.
Alexander and Murray said in a joint statement that the Senate “does not have time before the August recess” to consider the bill.
The Senate Health Committee approved the measure in an overwhelming vote of 20-3 in June, but since then the measure has run into some resistance. Doctors and hospital groups are concerned that a provision aimed at protecting patients from getting massive “surprise” medical bills from out-of-network doctors will end up lowering their payment rates.
In addition, health agent associations have been urging Senators to remove the section of the bill that would require brokers to reveal their commissions.
Susan Rupe is managing editor for InsuranceNewsNet. She formerly served as communications director for an insurance agents' association and was an award-winning newspaper reporter and editor. Contact her at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @INNsusan.
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