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Senators Strike Deal to Float Obamacare

by Countable | 10.17.17

Obamacare’s health insurance exchanges got a boost Tuesday with an announcement by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) that they’d reached a bipartisan, two-year deal to continue subsidies for insurance companies to pay the premiums of low-income consumers. The news comes less than a week after President Donald Trump signed an executive order to end the subsidies.

The two ranking senators from the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee expressed confidence their plan will help stabilize health insurance markets. Chairman Alexander said that the "agreement avoids chaos" while Murray said it represents “common ground” that will “help protect families from premium spikes.”

For his part, President Trump spoke positively of the deal, emphasizing that it’s "a short-term solution" during a press conference at the White House while signalling that “ultimately we think block grants going to the states is going to be the answer.”

Some of the details of the agreement are still being worked out and the senators didn’t offer a timetable for introducing their plan as legislation, but here’s a look at what we know so far:

  • Cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments to health insurance companies to cover premiums for low-income policyholders would continue for fiscal years 2018 and 2019.

  • Individuals would be allowed to buy catastrophic health insurance plans if they’re over the age of 30. Such plans would be called "copper plans".

  • $106 million in funding to promote enrollment in Obamacare that had been cut would be restored.

  • States would be able to get Obamacare waivers for plans with "comparable" affordability to plans currently on the market, as opposed to the current requirement that plans getting waivers be “as affordable as” those available.

Tell your reps what you think of the proposed bipartisan healthcare deal using the Take Action button and join the conversation in the comments below.

— Eric Revell

RELATED READING

Trump Executive Order Looks to Upend Obamacare

Bipartisan Lawmakers Propose Obamacare Stabilization Plan

Republicans Say Obamacare Exchanges Are "Fragile" -- What’s the Solution?

(Photo Credit: utah778 / iStock)

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(310)
  • Jennifer
    10/17/2017
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    Suck it, Trump. You're gonna lose this one too.

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  • Chris
    10/17/2017
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    This is a good start and hopefully bipartisan solutions will be worked out.

    Like (127)
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  • Gail
    10/17/2017
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    Thank God. I was heading toward panic on a personal level. I recently retired but am not yet eligible for Medicare and have to buy my insurance on the individual marketplace without any subsidy. This could have been disastrous for many besides me.

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  • Jesse
    10/17/2017
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    This good when both parties work together

    Like (73)
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  • Liam
    10/17/2017
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    During this crazy administration, we need all of the bipartisanship we can get. I’m proud of our congress for finding common ground on this strangely controversial subject of affordable healthcare.

    Like (72)
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  • James
    10/17/2017
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    Trump was throwing this back to congress. Congress is the only branch of government that can approve spending. It has not been figured into the budget in the past. I am actually excited to see congress doing their job.

    Like (51)
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  • Azrael
    10/17/2017
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    OMG There are still adults in congress About time they finally showed up to work

    Like (45)
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  • Meg
    10/17/2017
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    So happy you lose again, Trump. Your plan is a disaster as is your presidency. Please walk away before you start a war. PLEASE!!

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  • Peggy
    10/17/2017
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    Please work on bipartisan solutions to improve the affordable care act for the long term

    Like (33)
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  • Richard
    10/17/2017
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    That moronic clown will take credit for things after he sabotaged it. He says he defeated ISIS in the operation that Obama started. He is disgusting to look at, to listen to, and to call the same species! Is CLOWN a species? 🤡😡

    Like (27)
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  • Lexpost
    10/17/2017
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    Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. There’re still 98 more votes to count and it’d be nice to know what else is in the agreement.

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  • Susan
    10/17/2017
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    I cannot speak emphatically enough about the importance of healthcare, and how critical it is that both parties put the safety and well-being of the American people above any partisan considerations. Please work together for a solution that is good for everyone, particularly those who are disabled or economically disadvantaged!

    Like (19)
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  • Jim
    10/17/2017
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    If we could only take Trump out of every equation things might actually take a positive direction.

    Like (18)
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  • Franky
    10/17/2017
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    There was rarely bipartisan agreement during Obama’s tenure, so this right here is unprecedented — especially in terms of urgency. Trump has publicly come out and will support a bipartisan deal on The Dream Act, so is no surprise he will support this. And he deserves credit. Credit because there is strategy to him; and there is strategy doing the right thing. The man knows what he’s doing, and that means making sure Congress finally works, whom knows a thing or two about.

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  • Marianne
    10/17/2017
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    Keep working for the best interest of all constituents, and forget all the partisan nonsense that has gotten to pervasive. Your job is to represent constituents, not whore yourselves out to lobbyists, rich folks, and the giant orange toddler. If you actually work together, you can actually accomplish the job you’re supposed to be doing. Apply that concept to every issue, and keep in mind that proposing bills you don’t want the public to see means you’re ashamed/behaving unethically and shouldn’t propose it.

    Like (12)
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  • Stephanie
    10/17/2017
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    I support this, as a temporary solution, but ultimately I support Medicare for all. It’s the only sane solution for the American people. Obamacare’s health insurance exchanges got a boost Tuesday with an announcement by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) that they’d reached a bipartisan, two-year deal to continue subsidies for insurance companies to pay the premiums of low-income consumers. The news comes less than a week after President Donald Trump signed an executive order to end the subsidies. Please impeach Donald Trump.

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  • Laurie
    10/17/2017
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    Please don't do away with the funding for low income people. This will only hurt those that need it most. I'm only 56 and not low income, but by the time I am in my 70's I want to know that I will not be forgotten. Donald trump is a DANGER, INSANE MAN, you MUST use amendment 25 before he starts WW111. He doesn't wish to be president he wants to be a dictator or a king! Please save us from him!

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  • David
    10/17/2017
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    In the bizarro world of Trump lunacy we have to rely on congress to right by the people. I’m glad to see there is still some inkling of bipartisanship left.

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  • Rae
    10/17/2017
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    I’m glad someone is trying to make sure health care is accessible to people who can’t afford it like was promised! Hopefully they can come up with a more permanent solution before the 2 years are up!

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  • Tyler
    10/17/2017
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    I like that Trump got rid of it, but if Congress is willing to work together to figure it out, it’s a whole lot better than the Executive branch controlling healthcare for millions, this way it’s more Constitutional. But I’m sure there’s a way we don’t have to give money to the insurance companies to help these people. Just work together Congress to find another way.

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