Healthcare Savings & Transparency Bill Scheduled for Public Hearing Tomorrow

Contact:
Krysta West
Communications Director
Senate Republican Office
(207) 287-1505
krysta.west@legislature.maine.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

***MEDIA ADVISORY***
Healthcare Savings & Transparency Bill Scheduled for Public Hearing Tomorrow

Who: Insurance and Financial Services Committee
What: Public hearing on LD 445, “An Act To Encourage Maine Consumers To Comparison-shop for Certain Health Care Procedures and To Lower Health Care Costs”
Where: Cross Office Building, Room 220
When: Thursday, April 13 at 1:00 PM

Tomorrow, April 13 at 1:00 PM, the Insurance and Financial Services Committee will hold a public hearing on Senator Rodney Whittemore’s (R-Somerset) bill, LD 445.

If passed, this bill would encourage savings and transparency in the healthcare market by empowering consumers to shop for many healthcare services, receiving an incentive for utilizing the best deal.

“Last year a report found that a certain hospital in Portland offers precancerous skin growth removal for an average of $117 when, less than a mile away, another hospital provides the same procedure for $551,” said Sen. Whittemore. “A closer look at healthcare costs in Maine reveals extreme variation in prices, representing five-fold differences for identical services at times, which can translate to a difference in cost of thousands of dollars.

“Yet, because consumers with health insurance are only responsible for their deductible, the incentive to seek out a fair price is removed from the equation and most healthcare providers have no incentive to provide a competitive service. This drives the cost of healthcare services up for all consumers, which translates to expensive health insurance plans with high deductibles.

“We shop for the best value when it comes to buying a car or making other major purchases. It only makes sense that we should do the same when it comes to the thing that is most important: our health.”

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