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#1 User is offline   Liz 

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  Posted 27 May 2019 - 03:16 AM

Rep Porter: Congressional Clout Helped Erase My Medical Bills

$3,000 bill paid by insurance when company was told Porter was elected to Congress

The Washington Free Beacon
BY: Todd Shepherd
May 26, 2019 5:00 am

Excerpt:

Congresswoman Katie Porter (D, Calif.,) revealed in a subcommittee meeting that a tangled mess of health care bills she was facing was cleared up when a patient advocate told the insurance company Porter had been recently elected to the House of Representatives.

In a Tuesday hearing titled "Protecting Patients from Surprise Medical Bills," the freshman representative told her personal story of needing an emergency appendectomy last August. She said she was shocked to get a bill for $3,000 because one of the surgeons was out of her provider network.

"As I continued to fight my insurance company, I kept receiving bills from the surgeon," she said at one point. "Eventually, nearly five months after I was hospitalized, the surgeon was forced to simply request payment."

Porter had also claimed in her remarks that some documents she received in the mail had said her surgeon was in-network, but this matter never seemed to ever be fully factually determined.

Moments later, she said how the entire bill became settled.

"Finally, the patient advocate, invoking the fact that I had just been elected to Congress, was able to get the insurance company to agree to pay my surgeon's bill."

A patient advocate in this case was a doctor hired by Porter's employer to help workers navigate complicated health care billing issues.

The acknowledgement that a resolution only came once political clout was employed was not included in Porter's written remarks published by the committee.

While the use of political pull in this situation may not strictly violate House ethics rules, to some, the moment illustrates other problems with government's role in health care.

"If the United States had a free market in health care, there would be no reason for providers to be afraid of members of Congress," said Michael Cannon, the director of health care policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute.

"The fact that Miss Porter got a special deal when someone mentioned she is a member of Congress shows we already have a government run health care system."

*snip*

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#2 User is offline   Taggart Transcontinental 

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Posted 27 May 2019 - 06:49 AM

Why do we need doctor's in "network"? Oh that's because the doc agrees to accept the payment amount that the insurance company will pay. When you are not in that network you are not in agreement. Soooo the right answer is PUBLISH THE DAMN COSTS per each action. But you can't do that for a few reasons. The biggest reason is illegals. We spend a fortune on them in the hospital and someone has to pay for them. That is why your outpatient motrin costs 300 dollars for one friggin pill! Yes I was handed a Tri-Care bill once and on that bill was a charge for a motrin at 300 bucks. We call these damn things ranger candy. They are handed out 800mg at a pop, I wonder what the cost of one of those is if a 500MG one was 300 US.

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#3 User is offline   mjperry51 

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Posted 27 May 2019 - 07:01 AM

She should have known in network vs. out of network situations.

For the past six months I've been dealing some significant medical issues, including brain tumor surgery and cardiac treatments. Now the surgery was a short term "decision" after a seizure, bit I've carefully "managed" my providers to maximize network based benefits. I'm on Medicare and an Advantage plan. Frankly the coverage has been pretty good. But I owe what I owe.

The congresswoman is a crybaby -- pure and simple. The doctor who cleared her obligation because she was a congresswoman is a coward.

We don't just have a dual justice system; we also have a dual economy. The costs associated with the $3,000 didn't just disappear; they be paid by other pateints or their insurance, driving up overall costs. Nothing happens in a vacuum. . . .

This post has been edited by mjperry51: 27 May 2019 - 10:57 AM

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#4 User is offline   Howsithangin 

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Posted 27 May 2019 - 12:23 PM

The parallels to the Soviet Union, where party members get treated like royalty, are inescapable
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#5 User is offline   moocow 

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Posted 27 May 2019 - 04:32 PM

Katie Porter, one of the 2018 Orange County Democrats who was behind ~2% election night that seemed to come out ahead a few days later.
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#6 User is offline   ASE 

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Posted 29 May 2019 - 03:09 PM

Seems pretty much like an illegal 'gift', to me. It should have been refused.
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