Politics

More Than 160 Economists Press Congress To Protect Health Care Workers In Next Stimulus Bill

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More than 160 economists sent a letter to President Donald Trump and other federal government leaders, making clear their opposition to price-setting measures as a response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Taxpayers Protection Alliance released the letter Tuesday, ripping proposals to set price controls for health care coverage. (RELATED: FLASHBACK: Jan.21: Fauci Says Coronavirus ‘Not A Major Threat’ To U.S.)

“The undersigned economists believe that ‘surprise’ medical bills, which patients sometimes receive after they are treated by a provider unknowingly outside of their insurance network are a real public policy concern that policymakers should work to address,” the group writes.

The economists argue that price fixing is not the answer to these problems, and could have negative consequences for healthcare workers.

Manufacturing problems in several Pfizer plants are causing shortages of crucial medications used in hospitals, according to a Sunday New York Times report. (Photo: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock)

Manufacturing problems in several Pfizer plants are causing shortages of crucial medications used in hospitals, according to a Sunday New York Times report. (Photo: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock)

“No matter the policy area, government price controls often result in shortages and market distortions,” the economists wrote.

“These outcomes should be avoided, especially when dealing with important health care services like emergency room visits and physician care.”

Some lawmakers on Capitol Hill have proposed price fixes as a solution to help patients afford coronavirus treatment, including Republican Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander, and Democratic New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone. Opponents of price fixing argue that it could disadvantage healthcare workers and lead to hospital shortages.