The first bi-partisan health care deal has been reached by two U.S. Senators, Republican Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Democrat Patty Murray of Washington. Missouri Democratic U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill’s initial impression seems positive. She’s pleased the agreement would provide two-year funding for subsidies to health insurers. The feature could lower premiums for those using the exchange next year.
“There has been an agreement reached on a bill that will help stop the sabotage of the individual markets and will, I think, help stabilize them,” says McCaskill.
President Donald Trump, R, announced last week that he is cutting off the subsidies, and today, Trump has reportedly endorsed the bi-partisan plan by calling it a short-term solution.
“I’m just reassured that we can actually come to bi-partisan compromise when it really matters and this is a time that it really matters,” says McCaskill. “I’m hoping that Speaker Paul Ryan, R, will allow it come to the floor for a vote because I think there will be enough Republicans that will join with Democrats that will want to stabilize these markets.”
McCaskill hopes funding the subsidies for two years will buy Congress some time to come up with a permanent solution to the health care law.
The bi-partisan package would let states have more flexibility on how their Affordable Care Act markets are operated. It will also encourage states to consolidate their markets, and allow more people to buy lower-cost, limited-coverage plans.
Some analysts say House Republicans won’t endorse the plan. Opponents say proposed lower-cost catastrophic plans would increase insurance rates for people with pre-existing conditions.