Senators Propose Bill to Stabilize ACA Insurance Market

By Allison Payne 10/18/17
Courtesy of Creative Commons

A deal has been made by Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) to balance out the changes that President Trump is proposing to the Affordable Care Act. Specifically, this tentative agreement would appropriate the subsidies that President Trump has said he is cutting off to health insurance companies. The bill restores money used to encourage people to sign up for the Affordable Care Act health plans, and make it easier for states to design their individual health care systems.

The bill is a short term solution to keep markets stable while Congress continues to debate long-term changes to the ACA, says Alexander, who also says President Trump supports the idea. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would not commit to bringing the bill up for a vote. The bills needs 60 votes to pass, relying on at least a dozen Republicans to vote in favor.
Consumers who feel they don’t need health care are less likely to buy coverage with premiums rising, leaving sick people in the market. Since those sicker customers spend a lot of money on care, premiums rise even higher. Restoring of the cost-sharing subsidies in the Alexander-Murray deal, would cause those premium increases to be much smaller.
President Trump said, “It’s a short-term solution.The solution will be for about a year or two years and it will get us over this intermediate hump.”

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