Eliza Chin, MD, MPH, Executive Director of the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) attended a presidential briefing yesterday in which President Biden announced new actions aimed to lower health care costs.
With a focus on addressing a runaway healthcare billing system, the President invited Cory Dowd to share his experience facing excessive health care costs despite making what he thought was a responsible effort to obtain sufficient health insurance coverage. In 2019, Dowd purchased a high-deductible health care plan to meet his needs should he face a medical emergency until he was to get coverage through a student health plan. Just weeks before starting graduate school, he needed an emergency appendectomy and was informed afterwards that he was responsible for more than $37,000 in out-of-pocket costs.
Dowd spoke of the financial and emotional toil that the experience caused, though fortunately for him, the media exposure regarding his predicament persuaded the insurance company to cover the expenses, Most people, he acknowledged, aren’t so lucky and face staggering costs.
President Biden announced the following steps that his administration would be taking to lower the burden of healthcare costs:
- Ensure transparency on what health insurance plans cover
- Close loopholes that permit insurance companies to decline coverage based on pre-existing conditions
- Protect consumers from unfair medical debt.
- Rules to prohibit surprise medical billing.
“AMWA is committed to assuring access to affordable healthcare, and we look forward to working with the Biden – Harris Administration to achieve these goals” says Dr. Chin.
The president also addressed the high cost of prescription drugs, new rules to prohibit surprise medical billing, and implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act.