Mr. BURGESS. Mr. Speaker, the current health insurance system has essentially insulated people from the actual cost of medical care that they receive. But maybe, by pulling back the curtain on these opaque areas of the health care market, over time we could lead to the development of a more rational pricing structure, at least from the consumers' perspective.
Once we understand the actual cost, then we can begin to make effective changes, leading to fair physician reimbursement, appropriate patient billing, and better medical services.
To that end, the Health Care Price Transparency Act of 2012, H.R. 5800, is bipartisan legislation that is a long-term solution to runaway medical costs. The bill calls upon States to establish and maintain laws requiring a disclosure of information on hospital charges. This means that State law will require health insurance providers to give patients an actual dollar estimate of what the patient must pay for health care items and services within a specified period of time.
It's commonsense legislation. It's far past time for us to do it. I encourage Members to join me in cosponsoring H.R. 5800. Let's get it done.