On healthcare: It ain’t over ’til it’s over

Trumpcare is on its last leg now that Susan Collins of Maine came out against the bill. Sen. Collins had been on the fence until the Congressional Budget Office forecast that the Graham Cassidy bill would result in millions losing health coverage by 2026. But the Graham-Cassidy bill is still not completely dead, with Sen. McConnell indicating the measure may yet come to a vote on Thursday in the Senate.

Unless the GOP can come up with a new plan or convert one more “no” vote to a “yes” between now and September 30th, the country may see an effort to revive a bipartisan fix to the current health care system.

The bipartisan alternative

Republican Senator Lamar Alexander and Democratic Senator Patty Murray have been working together for months on a bipartisan effort to stabilize and strengthen the individual insurance markets.

Alexander is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. This committee began holding hearings to listen to testimony of various stakeholders earlier this month. Both Murray and Alexander have put forward compromises to the plan in an effort to give the legislation its best chance to get through the House, which holds a Republican majority.

What does a “compromise bill” mean?

As a compromise bill, both parties are expected to give a little in order to make the bill work smoothly. There are two main components that need to be smoothed out. First, the republicans need to agree to continue subsidy payments to insurance companies to help them lower out of pocket costs and premiums to low income buyers. Second, the Democrats will need to agree to give more autonomy to the states to relax some of the insurance requirements in order to keep premiums competitive.

Progress on the bipartisan bill was stopped this week as Paul Ryan and the White House informed lawmakers that they oppose the effort and would be backing the Graham Cassidy measure. We know you have called, we know you have faxed, we know you have written, but we are begging you to keep it up, just for this last push through the end of the month.

CALL TO ACTION

  • Call your Senators and ask them to support a bipartisan effort to stabilize the ACA. Remind them that 71% of Americans prefer a bipartisan solution over ACA repeal and replace. Let them know that insurers, hospitals and doctors, as well as GOP governors and senators have all come out in opposition to the Graham-Cassidy bill because it is even worse than the Better Care Reconciliation Act, which failed in July.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (202) 224-5251 (DC) // (801) 524-4380 (SLC) // (801) 375-7881 (Provo) // (435) 634-1795 (St. George) // (801) 625-5672 (Ogden) // (435) 586-8435 (Cedar City) // Email // Twitter: @senorrinhatch // Facebook: @senatororrinhatch
Sen. Mike Lee 202-224-5444 (DC) // 801-524-5933 (SLC) // 435-628-5514 (St. George) // 801-392-9633 (Ogden) // Email // Twitter: @SenMikeLee // Facebook: @senatormikelee

 

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