Hey there-- In this week's episode, we talk all about this thing called Surprise Billing, where you go see somebody that takes your insurance, and they end up farming out some of the work to somebody who doesn’t take your insurance.
Like the doc at an emergency room, who doesn’t work for the hospital, and doesn’t take anybody’s insurance. SURPRISE! You’ve got a huge bill.
Our story talks about how Congress had been trying to do something, but those efforts got derailed when giant hedge funds paid for $30 million in attack ads. Seriously, listen to it. Crazy stuff.
AND THEN: As we were getting ready to publish, news broke that Congress might actually have a deal to protect consumers from surprise bills after all. Crazy!
I got to talk with Rachel Bluth — she’s a reporter with our pals at Kaiser Health News who has been covering the whole issue for a while.
The good news: "People in most cases are just not going to get surprise bills anymore." Really.
The much-less-certain-to-be-good news: There are exceptions. Possibly big enough to drive a truck through -- nobody's seen actual legislative language yet, so who knows. "Nobody is saying that all of our dreams are coming true," Rachel says. "No one is absolutely thrilled with this."
Bottom line: "Anything is better than the current system."
Listen! It's fun. The audio's at the top of this post.
Or, you could read the transcript, attached. (Caveat: The transcript is machine-generated. There could be an error or two in it. But the machines these days are surprisingly good.)