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Trump Signals Opposition to Obamacare Deal

Trump Signals Opposition to Obamacare Deal”

Less than a week after President Trump said he is cutting off subsidies to health insurance companies, lawmakers announced Tuesday that they had a deal to restore the money and take other actions that could stabilize insurance markets for next year.

Trump initially spoke approvingly of the deal, but after some conservatives denounced it as an insurance company bailout, the White House pushed back on the deal, too.

The agreement by Sens.

The President made waves last week when he announced that he would cut off the subsidies to health insurance companies for low-income patients, some of which include his supporters. The bill would continue funding Obamacare subsidies, provide funding for the ACA's navigator and outreach programs and fund basic health plans.

The Alexander-Murray deal would continue the insurer payments for two years while establishing new flexibility for states under former President Barack Obama's law.

The deal Trump seems now to want is, of course, the same deal Alexander and Murray have been working on all this time, despite interruptions from the White House and the Senate Republican leadership.

Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch said Wednesday that he would not vote for the bill if it comes up for a vote in the Senate and that he believes Alexander-Murray has "stalled out".

Aside from timing issues, congressional Democrats, who know Republicans will get the lion's share of the blame for a new Obamacare-premium crisis, aren't likely to approve a deal that undermines Obamacare.

Trump offered mixed opinions on the deal at first, though he encouraged the bipartisan effort.

Republicans have been trying all year to make good on campaign promises to outright repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

But, he added, "While I commend the bipartisan work done by Sens".

Alexander and Murray said they were gathering co-sponsors. So insurance companies in many states filed paperwork to sell policies on the ACA exchanges next year that included two sets of premiums - one if the cost-sharing payments continued and another if they were cut off. They're known as "cost-sharing reduction" payments.

Funding the cost-sharing subsidies would spare insurers more than $1 billion in financial losses this year, and could let them lower premiums for 2018. For Republicans, state governments would find it easier to obtain waivers from certain requirements of the Affordable Care Act. Catastrophic plans provide protection against serious illnesses and injuries, but consumers must pay most routine medical expenses themselves. Such plans now can be sold only to those under age 30. Open enrollment on the federal exchange begins on November 1 and ends on December 15. The Trump administration had slashed that funding.

"We haven't had a chance to think about the way forward yet", he said Tuesday.

"For months now, I have been urging a bipartisan approach to health care reform", Murkowski said. "But in the meantime, stabilizing the system, preventing chaos and stopping the sabotage is in everybody's interest". The deadline to finalize those prices was in late September, however, and it's not clear companies will be allowed to cut their prices if the Alexander-Murray deal becomes law.

In another blow, Doug Andres, spokesman for House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said Ryan "does not see anything that changes his view that the Senate should keep its focus on repeal and replace of Obamacare". "This bailout is unacceptable".

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Sen. "I think there's a consensus that we need short-term stability". "And it may have to be part of a larger negotiation".



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