For immediate release
February 11, 2020
Union Plans to Fight Wall Street-Backed Neal-Brady Bill
Las Vegas, NV – Statement by D.Taylor, International President of UNITE HERE, a union that represents more than 300,000 workers and their families and is the fastest growing private sector labor union in America.
“A strong bipartisan bill already exists in Congress based on the work of Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) from the Senate Health, Labor, and Pensions Committee and Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Ranking Member Greg Walden (R-OR) from the House Energy and Commerce Committee that will do something forceful and real to begin to rein in surprise medical bills which are crushing the financial life out of millions of hardworking Americans and their families. Unfortunately, Congressman Richard Neal (D-MA) and Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX) have intervened to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory with their latest Wall Street-backed legislation that puts profits over patients and locks-in outrageous surprise medical price gouging.
Neal and Brady will tell you they are fighting for doctors and hospitals when in fact, the patient — and the American taxpayer — will be stuck with the bill. The plain truth is that Wall Street special interest money is behind this legislation in an effort to protect their private equity investments in a growing and lucrative new marketplace — investing in out-of-network physician groups who are providing services to patients in extreme duress and exploiting for profit the misery and vulnerability of patients in their most vulnerable moments. This bill will protect the ability for these groups to continue to end contracts with health plans and charge prices with no relationship to the market.
Strong bipartisan, bicameral legislation has already been worked out that would make major advances to rein in the surge in surprise medical billings. These are the bills that should be passed to help patients, stop surprise medical bills, and not stick the taxpayer with the bill.
Passage of the Neal-Brady legislation is worse than doing nothing and must be defeated.”