The undersigned members of the No Surprises campaign believe that the bipartisan surprise billing compromise announced by the key committees of jurisdiction on December 11 represents a critical step forward in protecting consumers from egregious surprise medical bills. It is critical that Congress fulfills its promise to consumers and passes surprise billing protections as part of a year-end package to fund the government and provide COVID-19 relief for families, health care providers, public health infrastructure, small businesses and state and local governments.

The bipartisan agreement comes after Congress has spent the last two years working towards a solution to protect consumers in a debate that has far too often been about powerful special interests. Consumers and their families are suffering —especially during the country’s worst health and economic crisis in centuries.

Throughout Congress’s consideration of various possible solutions, the No Surprises campaign has evaluated policy solutions based on three key criteria:

  • Consumers must be held harmless from paying out-of-network balance bills;
  • Insurance premiums and overall health care costs must be contained through a reasonable payment mechanism between insurers and providers for surprise bill situations; and
  • Federal protections should apply nationwide except where states have equally robust laws.

The bipartisan deal meets all of these criteria. It holds consumers harmless in emergency and certain non-emergency situations, and takes consumers out of the middle of the payment dispute between providers and insurers. Importantly, consumers would be protected from surprise bills from air ambulance providers—one of the most financially burdensome types of bills a patient can get. If the bipartisan deal is advanced, we stand ready to work with Congress and the administration on implementation and monitoring of this legislation to ensure that there are no unintended negative impacts on health care costs or health care premiums.

We’ve come too far to punt this debate further down the line. We urge all Members of Congress and the President to enact surprise billing protections now and protect consumers before the New Year.

Families USA Action

American Federation of State, County and

Municipal Employees (AFSCME)

American Kidney Fund

Arthritis Foundation

Community Catalyst

Consumer Reports

Health Access California

Health Care for America Now

MomsRising

National Alliance on Mental Illness

National Consumers League

National Partnership for Women & Families

Voices for Progress

Young Invincibles

The No Surprises: People Against Unfair Medical Bills campaign brings together organizations representing consumers, patients, and workers to urge Congress to act immediately to ban surprise medical bills.