October 28, 2020
Contact: Allyson Sanders

Senator Cassidy’s Surprise Billing Legislation Was Backed By Private Equity Firms That Profit Off of the Predatory Practice

BATON ROUGE, LA – Last week, Buzzfeed dropped a bombshell story detailing the role private equity firms played in killing legislation that would have ended the predatory but profitable industry practice of surprise medical billing:

“Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate had reached a deal to end surprise billing in recent weeks, despite a multimillion-dollar dark money campaign to kill reforms funded by private equity firms that profit from sending surprise bills to hospital patients. It appeared set to be included in the must-pass spending bill. Then everything fell apart.”

As reported by Buzzfeed and backed up by a new story in the Bayou Brief, Private Equity firms established a PAC and spent millions of dollars to prop up an industry friendly bill written by Sen. Bill Cassidy. All told, as reported by the Bayou Brief, “executives at these firms have directly contributed a total of $57,500 to Cassidy; that’s in addition to the $320,000 they spent to run television commercials in Louisiana thanking Bill Cassidy for his hard work on their behalf.”

Louisiana Democratic Party Chair Katie Bernhardt released the following statement:

“Sen. Cassidy is touting his legislation as a win for consumers while it serves as a crushing blow to the people of Louisiana. This reporting now reveals that Sen. Cassidy’s centerpiece legislation was actually an industry cudgel used to kill real bipartisan reform that would have protected patients. Unfortunately, this theme is all too familiar as Sen. Cassidy has also been at the forefront of the repeal of the ACA — which would take away healthcare coverage for 500,000 Louisianans and threaten the insurance of 1 million Louisianans with pre-existing conditions. The fact is that with Cassidy representing us in the Senate, Louisiana’s citizens are left behind while he fights to protect political insiders and big industry.”