To the Editor:
With the perspective of 11 years of public service in West Hartford, I know the challenges of coming to the negotiating table on tough policies. It takes time and compromise. But now, as we approach the end of the year, our federal lawmakers need to prioritize key pieces of legislation that will make an impact in Connecticuters’ daily lives.
Two vitally important bills that I hope our federal lawmakers will prioritize are the Facilitating Accountability in Reimbursements Act (FAIR Act) in the House and the Site-based Invoicing and Transparency Enhancement Act (SITE Act) in the Senate. These proposals address a longstanding, national issue that’s already been addressed in Connecticut – unfair hospital billing.
Because of hospital consolidation, as many independent doctors’ offices are being brought under a corporate umbrella, patients are seeing higher charges for medical services than they did previously. Hospitals are allowed to charge more for the same services solely based on new ownership of the doctors offices they’ve acquired. Our leaders in Washington must follow Connecticut’s example and pass legislation that will prohibit these burdensome ‘facility fees’ in the future.
Particularly, as Congressman John Larson is a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means, I hope he will take the lead in advocating for this legislation in committee and among his colleagues. Passing the FAIR Act in the House would lead us to critical reforms like site-neutral payments. This could put us on track to save billions in the Medicare system and ultimately help more families and patients save money.
As a father, husband, veteran and public servant, I urge our leaders to pass the FAIR and SITE Acts to create a more affordable system of health care for the future. It will stand to benefit each and every American in the generations to come.
West Hartford Town Council