On August 1, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee announced that they will hold hearings after the August recess on legislation to “stabilize and strengthen the individual health insurance market”. Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) issued a statement that pointedly included that he was consulting with ranking member Patty Murray (D-WA) in order to “make these hearing bipartisan and to involve as many members of the committee as possible, all who want to can be involved.” He also said that he will consult with the Republican and Democratic leaders or the Senate Finance committee on the work, signaling that he is committed to a bipartisan, productive process.
Bipartisan efforts are underway in the House as well, with the “Problem Solvers Caucus” of around forty Representatives coming together to propose ideas on stabilizing insurance markets and tweaking pieces of the ACA that could provide relief to consumers and businesses.
Both chambers of Congress are now in recess, with the Senate going out on Thursday rather than staying in session for an additional week as had been announced earlier, prior to the health care reform bill vote.
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