Surprise Medical Bills Could End in California: AB 72 passes Senate Appropriations Committee
Good news! AB 72 jumped over a big hurdle, passing the Senate Appropriations Committee (5-0) and will be sent to the full Senate for a vote. Stay tuned for an e-action from us to the Senate Floor! Our partners at Health Access California cheered the progress of the bill:
“When patients follow the rules of their plan and go to an in-network hospital or other facility, they should not be hit with a surprise bill of hundreds or thousands of dollars from an out-of-network doctor they did not meet or ever choose,” said Anthony Wright, executive director for Health Access California, a state health consumer advocacy coalition that is also co-sponsoring the bill.
AB 72 is a bipartisan, practical solution that closes the surprise medical bills loophole. It will protect consumers from surprise medical bills at in-network hospitals, labs, imaging centers and other health care facilities and ensure consumers are responsible for only their in-network cost sharing, putting an end to outrageous and unexpected out-of-network bills from doctors they did not choose.
The bill must be passed by the legislature and sent to the governor by August 31. We urge the California Senate to stand strong with consumers and reject industry attempts to block reform. We’ll need your support more than ever next week when the full Senate is expected to vote. Follow us on Twitter for the latest updates by searching the hashtag #EndSurpriseMedicalBills. If you live in California, take action now.