Aug 1, 2017

What could be in a bipartisan health care package

(J. Scott Applewhite / AP)

Sens. Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray have ambitious plans to hold hearings and put together a bipartisan health care bill when Congress gets back from recess in September, and Alexander already has a list of proposals he thinks are most likely to garner bipartisan support.

Here's what he's saying is the "likely universe of what is possible for a small bipartisan stabilization package," according to a senior GOP aide:

  • Funding for the Affordable Care Act's cost sharing reduction subsidies, which are currently being paid by the administration.
  • A reinsurance program that would help insurers pay for high-cost enrollees, blunting the impact of these enrollees on overall premiums.
  • Expanded state innovation waivers, which would allow states to waive some of the ACA regulations, like essential health benefits. (A similar proposal was part of the Senate's repeal-and-replace bill.)
  • Allowing everyone in the individual market to buy plans that only cover catastrophic care. The ACA limits those plans to people younger than 30.
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