California Effort to Stop Surprise Hospital Bills Stalls

SACRAMENTO (AP) — A California proposal aimed at limiting high medical bills from emergency room visits has stalled for the year.

Democratic Assemblyman David Chiu said Wednesday that he’s pulling his bill for now due to staunch opposition from hospitals. Chiu plans to continue negotiations on the bill and try again next year. He says the bill faced opposition from hospitals trying to protect profits over patients.

The California Hospital Association did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Chiu’s bill would have capped what emergency patients pay at their copays and deductibles, even if they got treatment at a hospital outside of their insurance network. It would have capped how much hospitals could then seek from insurance companies.

The California Hospital Association had previously called it a giveaway to insurance companies.

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