A bipartisan healthcare bill, sponsored by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), would fund critical ObamaCare insurer subsidies, give states more flexibility to change their ObamaCare programs, and as a result keep healthcare coverage stable while reducing the deficit by nearly $4 billion by 2027, according to a new report released Wednesday by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
The CBO said that the bill would not substantially impact the number of people with health insurance.
However, if the cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments to health insurers aren’t funded, then insurance companies are likely to increase premiums, raising government spending on financial assistance for low-income people, while raising the federal deficit by $194 billion through 2026, according to a CBO report released in August.
Not funding the CSR payments could cause premiums for the most popular ObamaCare plans to increase by 25 percent by 2020.
The Hill added:
The Trump administration announced earlier this month that it would not pay the insurer subsidies anymore, arguing they were being made illegally.
Trump has expressed openness to the Alexander-Murray proposal but has pushed for more conservative changes that Democrats aren’t likely to support.
While it appears that the bill currently has enough support to pass the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said he won’t bring it to the floor for a vote without Trump’s approval.
“This nonpartisan analysis shows that our bill provides savings and ensures that funding two years of cost-sharing payments will benefit taxpayers and low-income Americans, not insurance companies,” Sens. Alexander and Murray said in a joint statement.
“Last week, an unusually large group of cosponsors—12 Republican and 12 Democratic United States Senators—released this legislation, which was based on four hearings in the Senate’s health committee plus four meetings for senators not on the committee. All in all, 60 senators participated in the process, and the sooner Congress and the president act, the better.”