Senator Lamar Alexander has announced that starting in September a bipartisan committee will meet in an effort to stabilize the individual health mandate. The Tennessee Republican said that the target deadline for a solution is September 27. That’s when insurers sign contracts with the federal government for insurance plans that they plan to sell on the health care exchange for 2018. He estimated that about 18 million Americans who get their insurance in the individual market stand to be affected.
"Unless we act, many of them may not have policies available to buy in 2018 because insurance companies will pull out of collapsing markets,"
In 2014 Republicans in the House of Representatives in 2014 went to court to stop the Obama administration from making insurance subsidy payments, saying that the spending was not authorized by Congress. In a May 2016 ruling federal judge agreed that the government payments to insurers were illegal. The judge has allowed the payments to continue while the court case is appealed.
President Donald Trump state that that he wants to let ACA” implode.” In recent tweets he threatened to stop funding insurance company subsidies that he deemed “bailouts.” The funding is intended to help decrease health care expenses for low-income policyholders.
Alexander has urged Trump to keep making the cost-sharing payments so Congress could work on stabilizing the individual market for 2018.
About the subsidies, Maine’s Republican Senator Susan Collins emphatically states that the payment program is not a bailout. It is available to Americans who make less than 250% of the federal poverty level. Collins said that congress has a responsibility to stabilize the insurance marketplace.
The Bipartisanship approach on the health care front might be a sign that Congressional Republicans are deviating from the president’s stance whereby he has vowed to let the ACA fail..” Legislators are taking baby steps toward working on a compromise solution.