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Kasich, Hickenlooper detail plan to strengthen Obamacare, break health care stalemate

01 Septembre 2017

Rather, the letter lists various actions to maintain access to health insurance and to prevent cost increases, primarily through the stabilization of the markets, which the governors wrote is the most pressing concern demanding immediate legislative action.

The Colorado Democrat and Ohio Republican headed effort to form the plan.

"As Congress considers reforms to strengthen our nation's health insurance system, we ask you to take immediate steps to make coverage more stable and affordable", the letter says. Sandoval is the only Republican besides Kasich who signed the letter and Walker is an independent.

In the letter, signed by eight governors including Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio), Gov. John Hickenlooper (R-Colo.) and Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-Va.), lawmakers outline ways to restore "stability and affordability" in the health insurance market.

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Two of the more controversial items on the bipartisan list of recommendations are keeping the individual mandate, which requires certain individuals to buy coverage, and continuing to fund cost-sharing reduction subsidies, or discounted care provided to low-income individuals, through at least 2019. The House sued the Obama administration over the subsidies' legality, and President Donald Trump has repeatedly suggested that he might halt the payments - sending tremors through insurance companies in the marketplaces.

The governors also ask Congress to create a "temporary stability fund" to continue federal funding of reinsurance programs, which the pair hope will enable security that's now lacking in the insurance industry, which is driving premiums up. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that cutting off CSR payments would raise premiums by up to 25 percent by 2026, according to The Hill.

If GOP lawmakers adopted the letter's recommendations, they would effectively announce that the ACA would remain the US health care system for the foreseeable future.

Greg Moody, a longtime health-care aide to Kasich, said the blueprint is also an acknowledgment of the failure this year of Republicans who control Congress to deliver on their years-long goal of replacing the ACA. On Aug. 10, Trump indicated that he still wanted Congress to outright repeal the law.

Kasich, Hickenlooper detail plan to strengthen Obamacare, break health care stalemate