Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) will begin work in early September on legislation to “stabilize and strengthen the individual health insurance market” for 2018.
Alexander, the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee plans to work with the committee’s ranking Democrat, Senator Patty Murphy (D-WA). They see the key to initial stabilization of the individual market is providing cost-sharing reductions to insurers in order to limit premium increases and an exodus of carriers fearing unsustainable losses. Today Trump has the ability to pay or not pay these subsidies.
Many Republicans say the administration should not take any steps that would harm consumers.
Read more in The New York Times.
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) said the goal is for the panel to craft a bipartisan, short-term proposal by mid-September, as insurers must finalize how much their premiums will cost by the end of that month.
“We need to put out the fire in these collapsing markets wherever these markets are,” Alexander said at the beginning of a HELP Committee hearing on nominations.
The committee plans to discuss the issue with insurance commissioners, patients, insurance companies, governors and healthcare experts. The committee’s staff will begin preparing for the hearings to start September 4, Alexander said.
Read about it on The Hill
Senator Alexander explains why it is important to address a few issues in the individual market before the end of September. Read his thoughts in his press release
A bipartisan group of governors has proposed health care fixes to stabilize health insurance marketplaces, give states more control over their Medicaid programs and stem high drug prices.
The seven Democrats and six Republican governors, meeting since March, crafted the proposals. They want federal money to stabilize the ACA’s health insurance marketplaces, and greater power to manage them. They argue it should be easier for states to customize Medicaid, the joint federal-state health insurance for the poor, and they want new tools to curb fast-rising drug prices. And they insist that states should continue to regulate the health policies sold within their borders.
Read about their ideas in Stateline by the Pew Charitable Trusts.