Legislation Comparison Grid and Testimony/Advocacy Statement

The Legislation Comparison Grid

Legislation Comparison Grid Template
Health-related Bill Name

S. 1895: Lower Health Care Costs Act

 

Bill Number S. 1895
Description The bill is proposed to lower health care costs in the United States.
Federal or State? Federal
Legislative Intent The proposed bill intends to prevent surprise medical bills, enhance transparency, lower the prices of prescribed drugs, improve the exchange of health information, and invest in the improvement of public health (AHA, 2019). The objective is to enhance care and reduce the cost endured by patients and the healthcare system. It will help care recipients to address payment disputes between care plans and out-of-network care providers.
Proponents/ Opponents Proponents:

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Senators. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., Patty Murray, D-Wash, and the Senate HELP Committee (AHA, 2019).

Opponents:

None indicated

Target Population The bill targets all patients in the country who are affected by the high cost of healthcare.
Status of the bill (Is it in hearings or committees? Is it receiving press coverage?)
Latest Action: The bill was read twice before being transferred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

On 07/08/2019 it was placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 133 (AHA, 2019).

The Bill is receiving media attention because of the expected impact on the cost of care in the United States.

General Notes/Comments

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The bill aims at protecting patients from surprise medical bills to reduce the general cost of health care in the country. It will have an impact on the health of U.S. citizens, nursing, healthcare system, and address the issue of the ever-rising cost of care. It will also help in resolving conflicts that emerge in healthcare relating to payments and reimbursements. The bill will enable Americans to receive quality and affordable care.

 

Part 2: Legislation Testimony/Advocacy Statement

The bill will reduce the cost of health care. The initiative is necessary and timely because of the current health care burden in the country. The U.S. healthcare system is one of the most expensive among stable economies (Singh, 2015). Therefore, as a nurse, I support the step to reduce the cost by making the payment system highly transparent and eliminating surprise costs. Besides, it will reduce conflicts involved in payment and reimbursement for health services. The bill will protect the health of United States citizens and improve care by making services more affordable (Iuga & McGuire, 2014). It will ensure justifiable payments instead of surprise bills. The bill will protect patients and encourage them to seek quality care due to the promised transparency.

Potential opposition of the bill might arise from partisan legislators in the policy arena. Politicians usually support or oppose bills depending on their political interests and results of their cost-benefit analysis (Milstead & Short, 2019). It might also be opposed by payers and providers who benefit from the high cost of care in the country. The opponents should be informed that reducing the cost of health care in the country is beneficial to all parties in the healthcare system. More patients will seek affordable quality care and benefit providers and healthcare organizations because of increased demand for care (Newcomer, Gould, Page, Donelan, & Perkins, 2014). Payers will also benefit from the high demand for care due to a transparent system.

An amendment that would support my position regarding the bill is creating a system that indicates the cost of various services based on the benchmark for a geographical region and medical conditions. The information will improve transparency within the healthcare system (Blomgren & Sahlin, 2017). Overall, it will eradicate the surprise costs within the system.

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