One of the most significant problems facing patients and their access to quality healthcare is the threat of a surprise medical bill or balance billing. Between 2018 and 2020, 41 percent of insured Americans received an unexpected medical bill with two-thirds of Americans worrying they will be unable to afford an unexpected medical expense. Recognizing that the existence of surprise medical bills prevents people from receiving quality care as well as plunges patients into medical debt, the U.S. Congress has finally taken the first steps toward protecting patients from a market failure both Democrats and Republicans agree needs correcting.

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