Honorable Steve Kagen, M.D.

Wisconsin's former 8th District Representative

January 4, 2007 to December 22, 2010

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Dr. Kagen Introduces Bill to Fix What’s Broken in Health Care

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 25, 2010

DR. KAGEN  INTRODUCES  BILL  TO  FIX  WHAT‘S  BROKEN IN  HEALTH  CARE

 Legislation puts patients first, increases competition in health care marketplace

WASHINGTON, D.C.-  Congressman Steve Kagen, M.D. introduced new legislation today that would create a transparent and highly competitive medical marketplace.  The “Transparency in All Health Care Pricing Act of 2010” would finally allow patients to see the price of a pill before they swallow it, allowing patients to receive the highest quality care at the lowest possible prices.

Specifically, the bill says that any individual or business entity that offers health care related products or services must at all times openly disclose all of their prices, including on the Internet.

“When was the last time you bought anything without knowing what it cost?” Dr. Kagen asked.  “My patients, and my constituents, want to know the price of a pill before they swallow it – and certainly before they buy it,” said Dr. Kagen. “They want to go shopping for the best medical products and services at the lowest possible prices.  It is the American way.”

“Prices for our prescription drugs, hospital services and health insurance premiums have shot through the roof, primarily because of an opaque, non-transparent medical marketplace.  Everywhere I go, people are saying, ‘Just show me the price, so I will know if I can afford it.’  Everyone knows how much they pay for a cup of coffee, and it is time we finally have a chance to see all of the prices an insurance company has accepted as payment in full for their services.”

Full text of the bill is as follows:

Transparency in All Health Care Pricing Act of 2010 (Introduced in House)

111th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 4700

To provide for transparency in health care pricing, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

February 25, 2010

Mr. KAGEN (for himself, Mr. FOSTER, Ms. SHEA-PORTER, Mr. BOSWELL, Mr. LOEBSACK, Mr. PERRIELLO, Mr. BRALEY of Iowa, Mr. LIPINSKI, Mr. KLEIN of Florida, Mr. PERLMUTTER, Mr. DEFAZIO, Mr. HASTINGS of Florida, Mr. STUPAK, Mr. COHEN, Ms. PINGREE of Maine, Mr. WELCH, Ms. MCCOLLUM, and Mr. HODES) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committees on Ways and Means and Oversight and Government Reform, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL

To provide for transparency in health care pricing, and for other purposes.

      Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

      This Act may be cited as the `Transparency in All Health Care Pricing Act of 2010′.

SEC. 2. TRANSPARENCY IN ALL HEALTH CARE PRICING.

      (a) In General- Any and all individuals or business entities, including hospitals, physicians, nurses, pharmacies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, dentists, and the insurance entities described in subsection (d), and any other health care related providers or issuers that offer or furnish health care related items, products, services, or procedures (as defined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services) for sale to the public shall publicly disclose, on a continuous basis, all prices for such items, products, services, or procedures in accordance with this section.

      (b) Manner of Disclosure- The disclosure required under subsection (a) shall–

            (1) be made in an open and conspicuous manner;

            (2) be made available at the point of purchase, in print, and on the Internet; and

            (3) include all wholesale, retail, subsidized, discounted, or other such prices the individuals or business entities described in such subsection accept as payment in full for items, products, services, or procedures such individuals or business entities furnish to individual consumers.

      (c) Penalties- The Secretary of Health and Human Services may investigate any and all individuals or business entities that fail to comply with the requirements of this section and may impose on such individuals or business entities civil fines, or other civil penalties, as determined appropriate by the Secretary.

      (d) Insurance Entity Described- For purposes of this section, an insurance entity includes a health insurance issuer with respect to the offering of health insurance coverage, including in the individual market and small and large group market (as such terms are defined in section 2791 of the Public Health Service Act), a plan sponsor with respect to the offering of a group health plan (as defined in such section 2791), and entities responsible for the administration of governmental health plans (including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services with respect to the Medicare program under title XVIII of the Social Security Act, State agencies responsible for administration of State plans under the Medicaid program under title XIX of such Act, or State child assistance plans under the State Children’s Health Insurance Program under title XXI of such Act, and the Office of Personnel Management with respect to the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program under chapter 89 of title 5, United States Code).

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