Alexander, Murray propose bipartisan, short-term Obamacare deal

Sens. Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray say they have reached an agreement on a bipartisan Obamacare deal to fund a key insurance subsidy program and provide states flexibility to skirt some requirements of the health care law, reports Politico.

There is no assurance that the agreement will get to the Senate floor, however. Republicans on Tuesday were lukewarm about the prospect of resuming debate over whether to try to prop up Obamacare after multiple failed GOP attempts to repeal the law.

The deal would include funding through 2019 for Obamacare’s cost-sharing program, which President Donald Trump cut last week. It would allow states to use existing Obamacare waivers to approve insurance plans with “comparable affordability” to Obamacare plans, Alexander said. But it would notably not allow states to duck the law’s minimum requirements for what a health insurance plan must cover.

“Sen. Murray and I have an agreement,” Alexander said. “We’re going to round up co-sponsors as best we can.”

Alexander said he and Murray would then hand the legislative language off to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to determine how and whether to bring it to the Senate floor. 

…During a Rose Garden appearance, Trump called the agreement “a short-term deal” that could lead to a longer-term solution involving block grants to states.

“Lamar has been working very, very hard with the Democratic, his colleagues on the other side,” Trump said. “And they’re coming up and they’re fairly close to a short-term solution. The solution will be for about a year or two years. And it’ll get us over this intermediate hump.”

It would also allow consumers over age 30 to buy catastrophic health insurance plans — dubbed “copper” plans — as well as $106 million in funding to support Obamacare enrollment, according to Senate aides familiar with the plan. The new funding would be collected from existing insurance user fees and be used to provide states grants to help people enroll in catastrophic plans.

One Response to Alexander, Murray propose bipartisan, short-term Obamacare deal

  • Michael Lottman says:

    Is Trump completely insane or what? First he issues an executive order ending the cost-sharing subsidies, then he says it sounds like a good idea (almost). How can it possibly get through the House and Senate?
    Trump’s other order seeking to destroy the ACA will take a very long time to go into effect (if it ever does), so in effect Trump has done nothing. Fine with me, but no one can possibly rely on anything he says on this subject.

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