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Health care in many parts of Wisconsin isn’t as easy as driving five minutes down the road. Sometimes, in cases of emergency – when minutes can be the difference between life and death – advanced health care such as air ambulances are needed.

Unfortunately, if some in Congress have their way, rural health care could get harder and we may have to go without health care like air ambulances.

The “Lower Health Care Costs Act” may sound great, but it puts at risk rural health care such as air ambulances. That’s because this bill attempts to solve surprise medical bills by using government rate-setting.

The idea sounds great if you’re an insurance company, because the government would require out-of-network providers to take your in-network rates. The problem is the government-set rates included in this bill don’t take into account actual cost of service and in the case of air ambulances the set rates may not even cover expenses.

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These forced rates threaten viability and put at serious risk these emergency services that rural parts of our state depend on during times of need.

While the bill’s name is catchy, putting at risk necessary health care like air ambulances to appease the insurance industry is a bad idea. I hope Rep. Ron Kind and the rest of Congress will think twice before passing this dangerous bill.

Larry Vangen, La Crosse

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