Responding skeptically to legislation they say was authored without bi-partisan input, Assembly Republicans are meeting in Trenton today with doctors and hospital representatives to get their opinions on S20/A4444, a complex, Democratic-sponsored bill aimed at shoring up rising out-of-network healthcare prices for consumers in New Jersey, according to a GOP source.
Dubbedd the “Out-of-Network Consumer Protection, Transparency, Cost Containment and Accountability Act,” the bill aims to make the amount that health care providers bill to patients and insurers more transparent, as well as cap payments to no more than two-and-a-half times the median amount paid by commercial insurers. The legislation, some six years in the making, was unveiled at a press conference last week by its sponsors, who include Assemblymen Gary Schaer (D-36) and Troy Singleton (D-3).
Much of the state’s healthcare community, as well as Republicans, however, have criticized the measure, both for suppressing out-of-network physicians’ ability to negotiate fair pay, but also for lacking across-the-aisle feedback in the legislature (Republicans say that when it came time to hammer out details of the bill in the Assembly earlier this month, Democrats largely deferred to there own caucus).
With today’s meeting, Republicans hope to come up with amendments, based on physician and health care community expert input, to challenge the bill as it currently exists, the source said.