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Trump calls on Congress to try again to protect Americans from surprise medical bills

WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — On Thursday, President Donald Trump called on Congress to pass legislation to protect Americans from surprise medical bills that show up after patients have been to the doctor or had a test. 

Drew Calver of Austin, Texas, suffered a heart attack and was rushed to the hospital.

“A month later I was given a $110,000 bill, after my insurance,” said Calver.

Calver said the hospital was out-of-network. He said the battle over the surprise bill went on for over a year.

“It was a lot of stress for my family, when I should have been worried about my health and not having another heart attack,” he said.

President Trump said surprise medical billing is just wrong.

“It’s ruined people’s lives. They leave a hospital with something they think is going to be routine and then they end up in court, and they end up going to court with lawyer bills,” said President Trump.  

The Trump administration is urging Congress to take the sticker shock out of medical bills.

“My administration is eager to work with both parties to pass legislation that would save Americans, thousands and thousands of dollars,” Trump said.

The president said the legislation should include rules to prevent patients from being charged pricey out-of-network fees for emergencies and make sure scheduled care providers give all prices up front to help to avoid unexpected costs.

Lawmakers have tried before, but insurance companies and health care providers have opposed the efforts.

“It should be apolitical, all Americans can benefit from have better health care policy” said Calver.

Calver is hopeful that Congress, the president and the health care industry can work together to reach a compromise.