Capitol Correspondence - 03.05.18

Congress Revisits ACA Market Stabilization Bill

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Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) are seeking to re-introduce a bill to stabilize Affordable Care Act (ACA) markets. This is in the hopes of avoiding sharp increases to insurance rates following the Administration cutting off subsidies to insurers to assist them in covering people with low incomes. According to a snippet from Politico Pro: “The deal would include temporarily restoring billions of dollars in cost-sharing reduction payments that Trump ended in October, funding a reinsurance program to aid insurers with their costliest patients and broadening the waivers that the federal government can grant states to alter their Obamacare markets.”

However, the bill faces skepticism from Senate Democrats who view the measures as insufficient and GOP fiscal conservatives in the U.S. House of Representatives, who view the measures as too costly.

ANCOR is sharing news on this issue because it is useful for providers to be aware of other issues that could capture Congress’ limited attention once the budgetary process is over. While the Alexander-Murray bill is not currently a Congressional priority, ACA market stabilization remains a recurring topic in Congress that has the potential to compete for attention with other topics, such as MFP reauthorization.