Senator: ‘Powerful’ Hospital Lobby Killed Effort For Billing Transparency
SACRAMENTO (CBS) — A state senator from Torrance said Thursday that powerful lobbyists for the hospital industry helped defeat consumer legislation that was prompted by a series of KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO investigative reports into hospital billing practices.
KNX 1070’s Charles Feldman reports State Senator Ted Lieu’s bill for greater transparency has been defeated — for now.
“They lobbied aggressively against it, and it was disappointing to me that they didn’t work out with me a solution to a very big problem,” Lieu said.
Back in February, Lieu introduced legislation that would call for more transparency from hospitals on all potential charges associated with any medical procedure or hospital stay.
Lieu — whose 28th District stretches across a number of cities including El Segundo, Hermosa Beach, Torrance and parts of Los Angeles and Long Beach — authored Senate Bill 1373 aimed at helping patients avoid sticker shock in response to Feldman’s initial report.
But on Thursday, the proposed legislation was defeated by a 5 to 1 vote, a defeat which Lieu blamed almost entirely on the hospital lobby.
“I thought I had a chance of getting it through but we went up against a very powerful industry, and sometimes you win some and sometimes you lose some,” he said.
Lieu said he plans on reintroducing his bill during the next legislative sessions.