CBO: Senate surprise billing proposal would save $7.6B over 10 years  

The Senate's Lower Health Care Costs Act, which aims to protect patients from surprise billing, would save nearly $7.6 billion by 2029, according to an analysis from the Congressional Budget Office. 

Overall, the bill would increase direct spending by $18.7 billion, but this would be offset by a $26.2 billion increase in revenues from 2019-29, producing a net reduction in the deficit of nearly $7.6 billion. The biggest budgetary effects stem from provisions that would reduce federal subsidies for health insurance and that would increase spending for community health centers.  

Most of the revenue increase is generated by the surprise medical billing portion of the legislation. The CBO expects this to lower premiums and reduce federal subsidies for health insurance coverage. This provision is expected to lower premiums because it would require insurance companies to pay out-of-network providers median in-network rates, which are lower than the current average. The CBO expects payment rates to move toward the median in hospitals where surprise billing is likely.     

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