Insurance Market Stabilization Packages Introduced

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA), along with 22 other Senators, introduced bipartisan legislation to stabilize the Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance markets and extend funding for the ACA’s cost-sharing reduction subsidies for 2018 and 2019. The bill would also provide states with additional flexibility under the ACA’s Section 1332 State Innovation Waiver program, includes a new ACA Copper Plan providing a catastrophic insurance option, encourages interstate health insurance compacts and provides additional funding for ACA outreach. 

Analysis from the Congressional Budget Office said the bill would reduce the deficit by $4 billion by 2027 and would not substantially change the number of people who are covered. There appears to be support for passage of the bill from members of Senate leadership on both sides of the aisle, although it remains unclear whether the bill has support from House leadership or President Trump. 

Additionally, the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committee Republicans introduced their own framework to stabilize the individual insurance marketplace. While full legislative text has yet to be released, the agreement, in principle, includes several of President Trump’s specific requests and aims to appeal to conservatives. ACC leadership and staff will continue to monitor this developing situation.

Keywords: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Leadership, Insurance, Health, Cost Sharing, Budgets, Health Education

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