Senate Health Committee Passes Bills to End Balance-Billing, Protect Insurance Market

A Medicare index was scrapped, but physicians will no longer be able to go after patients when an insurer doesn’t pay for non-contracted emergency work. A sweeping measure allows state insurance regulators to set aside state law if federal officials upend the national health laws.

The Oregon Senate Health Committee on Tuesday cleared two insurance measures designed to protect consumers, one stopping physicians from “balance-billing” their patients, and the other giving state insurance regulators the power to avoid a collapse of the insurance market triggered by federal cha

Independent Medical Board, Pharmaceutical Bills Among This Year’s Losers

Sen. Bates said federal match money may be available to expand programs to help providers in rural and underserved communities. Dentures for new Medicaid members will be available Jan. 1, thanks to the lobbying of Advantage Dental. Grants for $10 million will be available to safety-net clinics who serve uninsured immigrant children.

Not all the healthcare bills debated this session made the cut. Some were poorly conceived, a few were addressed by other means, and others just lacked the votes, but most died quietly, without much public attention.

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