President Donald Trump has asked Congress to take on surprise medical bills. "Not a pleasant surprise, a very unpleasant surprise".
Trump spoke at the White House on Thursday to lend his support to efforts by Republican and Democratic lawmakers.
Trump said he will send up a list of principles that should be included in the proposal, which should hold insurance companies and hospitals accountable when it comes to billing patients.
He was joined at the event by a heart attack victim who said even though he was insured, he got a $110,000 bill, and a man who was charged $17,580 for a urine test for his daughter that he said his insurer would have paid $100 for.
The White House wants the legislation to particularly focus on patients who receive emergency room care and are unable to consent to out-of-network care.
America's Health Insurance Plans, a trade group that represents US health insurers, said on Thursday it supports prohibiting doctors from sending patients surprise bills in cases of emergency and requiring facilities to inform patients of their doctors' insurance network status. The administration said that it wants to put limitations on this practice.
Specifically, Trump denounced charges from out-of-network providers, which he said patients are sometimes forced to see.
And when a patient opts for elective surgery from an in-network facility, but an out-of-network doctor is brought in and the patient is billed extra.
"No family should be left in financial ruin through no fault of their own, which is why we have been working together on a bipartisan solution to protect patients that we hope to announce soon", Pallone and Walden said.