Consumers Union calls on California Committee to Stand Up for Consumers

Daniela Nuñez
Social Media Program Manager

Monday, August 8th, 2016

Today, California state lawmakers have a shot at standing up for consumers and passing AB 72 to the next phase before it becomes law. In a few short minutes, the California Senate Appropriations committee will vote on AB 72, surprise bill protection legislation backed by Consumers Union and a coalition of consumer groups including Health Access California and the California Labor Federation. You can watch the hearing live here. 

AB 72 is bipartisan legislation that would 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.

In advance of the vote, Consumers Union issued a press release calling on lawmakers to stand up for consumers and vote “aye” on AB 72.

Betsy Imholz, Special Projects Director for Consumers Union, said “Surprise medical bills can wreak financial havoc on families, even when they’ve done everything to ensure they use an in-network doctor at an in-network facility. After undergoing surgery or medical treatment, consumers shouldn’t suffer the second pain of having to deal with the crossfire between providers and insurers. AB 72 is a bipartisan, practical solution that closes the surprise medical bills loophole. We urge the Committee Members to stand up for consumers by voting ‘aye’ on AB 72.”

Consumers Union also tweeted at lawmakers to ensure they got your message that you want protection from these surprise bills!

You can also check out the great coverage of AB 72 and how surprise medical bills hurt consumers in today’s front page of the San Francisco Chronicle. The article features three Californians–Alyson Kohn, Cassie Ray, and Kim Rubin–who were shocked by surprise medical bills after planned medical procedures. They thought their insurance would cover treatment from doctors at in-network facilities, but instead, loopholes in the law allowed them to receive surprise medical bills for out-of-network doctor care they didn’t choose.

Please speak up for AB 72 and urge California lawmakers to vote “aye” when it comes to the floor in the coming weeks.

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