2 Senators Reach Deal On A Health Law Fix, But Bringing Congress Along Is Tricky
The agreement would guarantee payment of subsidies that help some low-income policyholders, for two years. It would also restore $110 million in 'outreach' funding cut by the Trump administration.
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) talk during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on Oct. 17. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
This article first appeared October 17, 2017 on Kaiser Health News.
By Julie Rovner
After nearly two months of negotiations, key senators said Tuesday they have reached a bipartisan deal on a proposal intended to stabilize the Affordable Care Act’s insurance market, which has been rocked by recent actions by President Donald Trump.
Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), respectively the chairman and the top Democrat of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, negotiated the emerging deal. The milestone agreement, they said, would guarantee payment of “cost-sharing reduction” subsidies that help some policyholders with low incomes afford their deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs for two years, 2018 and 2019.
Trump announced last week that he would stop funding the subsidies, which have been the subject of a long-running lawsuit. These subsidies are separate from the tax credit subsidies that help eligible consumers pay for their premiums. Those premium subsidies are not affected by Trump’s action.