Over the last several weeks, Senator Jeanne Shaheen has been railing against what she calls ‘dark money special interests’ who have been running cable ads urging her to oppose rate setting as a way to resolve the growing problem known as Surprise Medical Billing.
Surprise Medical Billing is when a patient receives a bill for out-of-network care that they had no control over receiving. For instance, a patient who receives care at an in-network hospital by an emergency physician, not in the network. A patient has no control over this and then gets saddled with a giant “surprise” bill because the insurance company refuses to pay for it.
Senator Shaheen wants you to believe she is working for you by trying to get this resolved but she is now doing the bidding of the insurance industry by insisting on “rate setting” as the solution to this problem. “Rate setting” caps what physicians are allowed to earn through insurance companies. It gives insurers the power to set their own reimbursement rates, and the incentive to make those rates unreasonable and unsustainable. This will put doctors and rural hospitals at serious risk of shortage and closure.
This all leads to a larger problem that exists. Senator Jeanne Shaheen has been in politics since 1976 when she worked on Jimmy Carter’s campaign for President. She has been in elective office for 30 years having first been elected to the New Hampshire Senate in 1990. She was governor from 1996-2002 and is now running for her third term in the US Senate. Jeanne Shaheen knows how the political process works and, sadly, how to make money from it.
In the first three months of this year, Jeanne Shaheen raked in over $1.4 million dollars and only 10% of that money came from people in New Hampshire.
Who is it that Jeanne Shaheen cares most about as she raises millions and millions of dollars from outside New Hampshire? How are we to believe that Jeanne Shaheen cares about us when she has raised over $200,000 dollars from lobbyists, $300,000 dollars from Wall Street, and get this, $70,000 from Blue Cross Blue Shield. Blue Cross Blue Shield is the insurance company pushing for “rate setting” as the solution to Surprise Medical Billing.
Jeanne Shaheen has become a master of manipulation. She attacks so-called special interests as a way to hide from the fact that she is in the pocket of the health insurance industry. She makes claims and wants us to believe she is on the same side as Senator Maggie Hassan on the issue of Surprise Medical Billing, but she is on opposite sides. Senator Hassan has co-sponsored a bill with Republican Senator Bill Cassidy and they are promoting independent dispute resolution instead of the insurance industry’s rate-setting solution.
Jeanne Shaheen wants you to believe she is for the people of New Hampshire. But the fact of the matter is she continues to raise millions and millions of dollars every month from out of state, special interests and lobbyists.
Just a little transparency and integrity would be welcome rather than feigning outrage over Doctor Patient Unity while she rakes in millions from special interests and tens of thousands from lobbyists from the insurance industry.