Alexander-Murray health care bill

Lamar Alexander gives up on bipartisan ACA stabilization

Lamar Alexander.
Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Lamar Alexander has officially thrown in the towel on a bipartisan bill to stabilize the ACA. He said in a letter to allies that "Democrats are not willing even to make modest temporary changes with which they agree. So now efforts to help Americans paying skyrocketing premiums will turn to the Trump Administration and the states."

Between the lines: Alexander praised the administration's proposal to expand access to association health plans — policies that allow similarly situated people to band together basically as if they were under the umbrella of one large employer.

Democrats want to increase ACA subsidies in stabilization bill

Sen. Patty Murray is pushing for more ACA subsidies. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Senate Democrats, led by Sen. Patty Murray, are pushing to increase the Affordable Care Act's subsidies as part of a stabilization bill being renegotiated with Sen. Lamar Alexander. This would mean increasing the amount of financial assistance people receive, as well as making it available to more people.

Why this matters: This is a lot more ambitious than the original Alexander-Murray bill — Democrats are now looking to expand the ACA's core components, rather than just restore some of President Trump's cuts. That's largely a response to the repeal of the law's individual mandate.

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