Statement: Consumers urge House to vote “Yes” on “Lower Costs, More Transparency” Act

Media Contacts
Maribeth Guarino

Former High Value Health Care, Advocate, PIRG

Jon Maunder

Media Relations Specialist, The Public Interest Network

WASHINGTON – Today, after weeks of negotiation and many delays, the U.S. House of Representatives is considering the bipartisan Lower Costs, More Transparency Act. Among other things, the bill would improve and codify the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) rule on hospital price transparency, increase compliance and accountability mechanisms for price transparency, and move towards site-neutral payments for Medicare. PIRG sent a letter to House members urging a “yes” vote. The scheduled vote comes after 1,000 calls and 8,000 emails from PIRG members to their House representatives asking for support.

In response, PIRG’s Senior Director of Health Care Campaigns, Patricia Kelmar, issued the following statement:

“If passed, this Act will be a major milestone on the road to price transparency in health care. No other industry makes consumers speculate how much a product or service costs before they purchase it. With this law, medical patients won’t have to guess. Today’s scheduled vote on the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act in the House is an opportunity for our representatives to show every patient in America that they are taking action on the cost of health care.

“Patients feel the costly consequences of consolidation and a lack of competition in health care markets in the form of higher prices and bigger bills. When hospitals tack on hidden fees to medical bills and the price of a procedure can vary by thousands of dollars, patients need price transparency. The House needs to take the first step to protect Americans from these costly, frustrating and unjust practices by passing the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act.”