Letters to the editor

The COVID-19 emergency has led to workers having fewer hours and needing to tighten their belts. A positive test result for the disease could bankrupt a patient and their family.

After medical treatments, they could be on the hook for steep bills that aren’t covered by their insurance company. This was a growing problem here even before the virus reached our state, making surprise medical bills one of the leading causes of bankruptcy in Wisconsin.

With hardly any help from the insurer, families are oftentimes unable to pay off the bill. But help may be on the way for Wisconsin’s patients.

President Trump called on our representatives to pass a bill that would end surprise medical bills. The best one currently in Congress is the STOP Surprise Medical Bills Act, which would have your insurance company and doctor resolve the surprise bill on their own with an independent arbiter. No side would be able to tip the scale in their favor—so, naturally, it’s why the insurance industry opposes the bill.

Patients need quick access to medical treatment if they are feeling the symptoms of coronavirus. Fewer care providers would be disastrous for rural America. Only the STOP Surprise Medical Bills Act would end surprise medical bills and prevent the insurance industry from forcing government rate setting onto us and the medical professionals who save lives in rural Wisconsin.

It is time that Republicans deliver on the president’s urgent request to end surprise medical bills by passing the only solution that can do it. This would help them—and President Trump—clinch Wisconsin.

Susan McBryde

Madison

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