He said he and Murray would formally unveil the bill Thursday and predicted that “some form of the proposal” would become law by year’s end.
On Tuesday the Senate announced that a deal to stabilize the health insurance exchanges had been hammered out by Sen.
A separate executive order by the president last week also exempted certain types of coverage, such as association health plans and short term plans, from Affordable Care Act rules.
But it seems unlikely that the legislation will provide relief from premium increases for 2018, already set in many cases.
Other states where consumers could see zero-premium bronze plans include Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Utah and Wyoming, according to an industry estimate. This dissonance recalls Trump’s celebration of the passage of the House Republican health-care bill that he called “mean” shortly afterward.
Republicans had justified the president’s sudden announcement, which experts warned would roil insurance markets, by saying he was simply pressuring Congress to act.
A bipartisan proposal to shore up the Affordable Care Act and guarantee the US government keeps helping insurers cover low-income patients would have been something like a best-case scenario for the companies participating in the market – if it happened several months ago.
The people who will bear the brunt of the changes, Bottani said, make too much to qualify for tax credits to lower their premium. It helps around 6 million people.
During the Obama administration and up until last Thursday when Trump announced he’d no longer make the payments, the CSRs were made by the administration. Without the funds, millions stand to lose their health insurance coverage.
But even though a number of Republicans are eager to prevent a collapse of the individual health insurance market, opposition from Trump would likely doom the measure.
Q: It sounds like somewhat modest legislation, is that about right?
Earlier this year, the Kaiser Family Foundation, a non-profit that focuses on healthcare policy, estimated that Silver plan premiums would need to increase 19% to make up for lost cost-sharing reduction revenue.
And Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, the lead Democratic author of the agreement, said, “I’m certainly not interested in changing our bipartisan agreement to move health care in the wrong direction”. Each time they’ve tried, their proposals have failed to win public support.
GOP backers say the bill does not pre-empt the party’s ongoing effort to end Obamacare but rather buys time to keep working on legislation that can muster enough support to pass Congress. Conservatives have balked at Alexander-Murray as a tacit admission that Obamacare will remain the law of the land. Indeed, he argues getting beyond crisis mode on health care might allow for more reasoned consideration of GOP ideas.
The agreement also restores some of the money the Trump administration slashed for outreach regarding open enrollment in Obamacare plans.
Q: Does this bill give states the right to opt out of the ACA?
On Tuesday, Sens. Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray debuted their bipartisan stabilization package for the exchanges, which included both funding to support the marketplace and provisions to allow states some flexibility to customize their healthcare markets.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said to address Trump’s aversion to enriching insurers, Democrats had offered to delay the measure’s impact for a month after enactment to let insurers lower premiums after payments were restored. With the expected support of all Senate Democrats, it could have the votes to pass the chamber.
Alexander said he’s been hearing from people in his state who are “terrified by the prospect of skyrocketing premiums”, and emphasized that the bill would not cost any additional federal money to implement. The president has sent incredibly mixed signals on the bill over the past two days. At first the president sounded supportive, then not so much. This year, it will run from November 1 to December 15 – less than half the time.