A Texas hospital that charged a teacher $108,951 for care after a 2017 heart attack told the patient Thursday it would slash the bill to $332.29 — but not before a story about the huge charge sparked a national conversation over what should be done to combat surprise medical bills that afflict a growing number of Americans.
A Texas congressman, Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, heard Calver’s story on the radio Monday and immediately wrote the family a letter offering his support. Doggett was once a student at the high school where Calver teaches.
Coincidentally, the lawmaker proposed legislation last year aimed at limiting surprise billing for patients, but he says it hasn’t received a hearing in the current Congress.
“This is a nationwide problem and we need a nationwide solution,” Doggett says. “We have a system where the patient — the most vulnerable person of all those involved — is caught between the insurer and the health care provider … These problems are solvable.”
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