At the AHA Annual Membership Meeting today, Reps. Donna Shalala, D-Fla., former Health and Human Secretary, and Michael Burgess, R-Texas, ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, discussed health care issues facing the new Congress, particularly reducing the high cost of prescription drugs and preventing surprise medical bills. Shalala called drug pricing “a complicated issue, but there are four or five things we can clearly do and we clearly agree on.” Burgess advised attendees, “You understand this better than members of Congress. You need to help us to come up with solutions, because if you don’t, we will and you won’t like what we come up with.” With respect to surprise billing, Shalala said, “I believe that some of the best legislation will come out of looking at the state experience … and we need to look at that experience and build on it.” Burgess said, “I think the pressure will be there to do something, even if that something is only to get the patient out of the middle.” Mike Allen, executive editor of Axios, moderated the discussion.

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