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One point drew clear agreement Tuesday during a House subcommittee hearing: When it comes to the problem of surprise medical bills, the solution must protect patients — not demand that they be great negotiators.

“It is the providers and insurers, not patients, who should bear the burden of settling on a fair payment,” said Frederick Isasi, the executive director of Families USA. He was one of the witnesses who testified before the House Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions subcommittee of the Education & Labor Committee.

Surprise, or “balance,” bills happen when patients go to a hospital they think is in their insurance network, but are then seen by a doctor or specialist

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