Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Bipartisan ACA bill gets a challenge from the right

Republican lawmakers propose more conservative Obamacare fix Bipartisan ACA bill gets a challenge from the right
Herman Weaver | 26 October, 2017, 03:20

The CBO says the bill would save the government money because financial help people get to pay for ObamaCare plans are created to increase with premiums.

The bipartisan legislation, from Republican Senator Lamar Alexander and Democrat Patty Murray, would explicitly fund the Affordable Care Act's cost-sharing reduction payments through 2019, while offering more flexibility for states to set up their own insurance markets. President Donald Trump announced his administration would stop making the payments due to an Obama-era court case which said the subsidies required an appropriation from Congress. "A few weeks ago there wasn't much talk of cost sharing payments and now you've got the President asking us to come up with a bipartisan proposal that included them". The agency used the baseline that assumes the CSRs are made after consulting with Budget committees in the House and Senate, according to the report.

The CSR payments are meant to compensate insurers for providing coverage to lower-income consumers at below cost, and many say losing those payments will drive premiums higher and force some insurers to leave certain markets.

A bipartisan Senate proposal to shore up Obamacare insurance marketplaces would cut the US deficit by $3.8 billion over the next decade and would not substantially change the number of Americans with health insurance, a nonpartisan arm of Congress said on Wednesday.

Alexander and Murray said the bill would reduce premiums on the Obamacare plans, avoid chaos in the insurance marketplace and not bail out insurance companies.

Without a clear directive from the president, Republicans are still debating whether to work with Democrats to fund Obamacare's "cost-sharing" program, which helps low-income people pay their out-of-pocket medical bills. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, and Patty Murray, D-Washington.

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March for Life Action President Tom McClusky said they oppose the bill because it continues to force taxpayers to subsidize abortion.

Alexander and Murray said in a joint statement the analysis showed their bill benefits "taxpayers and low-income Americans, not insurance companies", a reference to attacks from Trump that the bill is a "bailout" for insurers.

A bill introduced this month by Sens. That mandate requires most Americans to have some form of health coverage or pay a fine.

Ryan told Reuters in an interview he favored the Hatch-Brady proposal. But it would also temporarily lift the ACA's penalties on people who don't buy insurance and on larger employers who don't offer coverage to workers - changes the White House is seeking.

But House conservatives say the Senate's bipartisan bill is a nonstarter in their chamber.

While it appears that the bill now has enough support to pass the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGun proposal picks up GOP support Children's health-care bill faces new obstacles Dems see Trump as potential ally on gun reform MORE (R-Ky.) has said he won't bring it to the floor for a vote without Trump's approval.

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