Healio Special Report: Health Care and Politics
Healio Special Report: Health Care and Politics
October 17, 2017
1 min read

Two senators reach bipartisan deal to save health insurance subsidies

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Two senators have struck a bipartisan deal to temporarily preserve subsidies for health insurance companies set to be scrapped by President Donald J. Trump, The New York Times reports.

Senators Lamar Alexander (R- Tennessee) and Patty Murray (D- Washington) have agreed to keep the subsidies, called cost-sharing reductions, in place for the next 2 years. The subsidies are designed to control out-of-pocket health care costs for low-income consumers.

When Trump announced on Oct. 12 that the White House would stop paying for the subsidies, HHS issued a press release stating that the Obama administration had made cost-sharing reduction payments without receiving appropriation from Congress, and that the Trump administration would “discontinue these payments immediately.”

It remains to be seen whether the new deal will gain traction in Congress.

“This takes care of the next 2 years,” Alexander told the Times. “After that, we can have a full-fledged debate on where we go long-term on health care.”

Further, Alexander said, the deal would offer individual states, “more flexibility in the variety of choices they can give to consumers.”

In a press conference on Tuesday, Trump called the deal “a short-term solution,” and said the long-term solution was to offer states grants to help residents pay for private health insurance. – by Andy Polhamus