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BPC Applauds Move Toward Bipartisan Health Reform

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Washington, D.C.– The Bipartisan Policy Center commends Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA,) the chairman and ranking chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, for scheduling bipartisan hearings in September to craft bipartisan reforms to stabilize the individual insurance market.

Additionally, BPC urges the administration and Congress to continue the health insurance cost-sharing subsidy payments through 2019 and remains committed to assisting policymakers in discussing and crafting bipartisan solutions to stabilizing the market.

Since March, BPC’s bipartisan group of politically diverse health care leaders have consistently called for a two-year extension of the CSR payments. 

“BPC strongly urges President Trump to heed the advice of our nation’s healthcare industry leaders, as well as the needs of 11 million Americans, and allow payments to continue,” said BPC Senior Vice President Bill Hoagland. “Since March, BPC’s bipartisan group of politically diverse health care leaders have consistently called for a two-year extension of the CSR payments. Time is of the essence. Consumers also need a signal from the administration and Congress that they will not lose their health insurance in 2018.”

Right now, insurers are filing corrections to their 2018 plan rates and petitioning states to change their service areas. Final premium prices are due August 16, 2017. And health insurers must sign final marketplace participation contracts by September 27, 2017. However, numerous insurers have already filed two pricing options for plans based on the uncertainty of whether CSR payments will continue.

“While ending payments now will not affect consumers in 2017, insurers will be forced to increase original premium filings for 2018, adversely impacting many middle-income Americans,” said Katherine Hayes, BPC health policy director. “Or even worse, some insurers will simply pull out of the individual insurance market altogether at the last minute, leaving some markets without health insurance.”

Over the past several months, BPC has held numerous roundtables and listening sessions with insurers, providers, healthcare leaders, state policymakers, and those on the ground implementing care, and routinely the number one recommendation for stabilizing the individual insurance market in the short-term is to extend the CSR payments. 

Read more about BPC’s Future of Health Care work here