U.S. Senate talks lowering health care costs


WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR DC BUREAU/WBTW) – The U.S. Senate spent Tuesday talking about healthcare, specifically how to lower costs.

To repair the country’s totaled health care system, lawmakers in Washington are prescribing nearly three dozen bipartisan bills to cut costs for families.

Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander, Washington Senator Patty Murray- and many of their colleagues on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee- heard feedback Tuesday on their legislation to expand competition, increase transparency and end surprise billing.

Testimony came from those representing hospitals, doctors, and patients. They agree something needs to change, but not necessarily on what that change should be.

Avoiding surprise medical bills took center stage. The proposed in-network guarantee would require in-network hospitals ensure everyone working there is also in-network.

Another part of the bill calls for benchmarking physician pay, but doctor and Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy cautioned his colleagues about that idea. 

“It’s easier to get doctors in Florida than it is to get doctors in Alaska so therefore you must pay doctors in Alaska more,” Sen. Cassidy said.

The conversation continues into next week before a debate on the Senate floor next month.

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