Centrist lawmakers plot bipartisan health care stabilization bill

Centrist lawmakers plot bipartisan health care stabilization bill
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A coalition of approximately 40 House Republicans and Democrats plan to reveal a slate of Obamacare fixes Monday they expect to gain traction after the Senate’s attempt to revoke the law imploded.

The Problem Solvers assembly, led by Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) and Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), is fronting the attempt to stabilize the ACA markets, according to numerous sources. But other centrist members, counting Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), and more than a few other lawmakers from the New Democrat Coalition and the GOP’s moderate Tuesday Group are as well involved.

Their plan is focused on instantly stabilizing the insurance market and then pushing for Obamacare alterations that have received bipartisan backing in the past.

The most important proposal is financial support for Obamacare’s cost-sharing subsidies. Insurers rely on these payments – expected to be $7 billion this year — to decrease out-of-pocket costs for their poorest Obamacare customers.

President Donald Trump has over and over again threatened to cut off the payments, deriding them as a “bailout” for insurance companies. White House counselor Kelly Conway alleged on Sunday that Trump will decide “this week” whether to scrap the financial support — which could make the markets implode.

The bipartisan working group, in addition, wants to alter Obamacare’s employer mandate so that it is valid only to companies with more than 500 workers. At present companies with at least 50 workers can be strike with a tax penalty if they don’t offer coverage to their workers.

The group, in addition, wants to build a federal stability fund – dollar amount unspecified — that states can tap to decrease premiums and other costs for people with tremendously expensive medical needs. Both the House and Senate revoke packages contained comparable pots of money.

The bipartisan suggestion as well calls for scrapping Obamacare’s medical-device tax, an idea that has gained bipartisan support in the past.

At last, the working group is looking for greater flexibility for state improvement. Obamacare previously allows the state to look for waivers from coverage rules, but the lawmakers want extra guidance on how states can take advantage of them.

The roll out of their stabilization program follows months of private meetings between different members involved in the House’s centrist group about different ways to stabilize Obamacare if the GOP’s repeal effort sputtered.

The push was increased after the Senate’s revoke collapsed in the wee hours of Friday morning when Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and John McCain (R-Ariz.) joined with all Senate Democrats to reject the GOP’s “skinny repeal.”

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