In the U.S. Senate, S.1531, a bill titled the STOP Surprise Medical Bills Act, introduced by Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., would put an end to the worry that a trip to the emergency room will result in a huge bill, not covered by insurance. This bill would provide Maine communities with a more stable playing field in their efforts to attract and retain skilled medical professionals than the benchmarking provisions contained in S.1895, the Lower Health Care Costs Act.

Benchmarking is going to hurt rural hospitals in Maine and across the country as they will, by default, end up on the low end of the reimbursement scale. It is already difficult in many rural areas to attract and retain skilled medical professionals, and the benchmarking approach will make recruitment even harder. It will also likely lead to the loss of seasoned professionals who help provide high-quality care to Mainers across the state.

I am urging Sen. Susan Collins and Sen. Angus King to support the free market by supporting S.1895 in order to ensure that people across Maine will be able to access health care close to home instead of being forced to drive to Bangor or Portland.

Brian Goodwin

Kittery

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