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Health Insurance Market Stabilization

  • Governors Rally Around Health Law Fixes as White House Pushes Repeal The New York Times by Robert Pear — Governors from both political parties told Congress on Thursday that they supported immediate action on modest, bipartisan steps to repair the Affordable Care Act without repealing it, even as the Trump administration continued to encourage efforts to dismantle the law. They also urged Congress to give states more latitude to modify some insurance requirements in the Affordable Care Act and to devise their own coverage programs. The subsidy money and the flexibility for states are the two main components of a bipartisan consensus emerging in the Senate.

  • Bid to Shore up Obamacare Faces Time Crunch, Conservative Counter-Effort Politico by Jennifer Haberkorn, Adam Cancryn and Rachael Bade — A bipartisan group of senators has palpable momentum but little time to make good on a bid to shore up Obamacare insurance markets, even as conservative Republicans press a parallel attempt to make good on their promise to repeal the health care law. The stabilization effort, led by Republican Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) and Democrat Patty Murray (Wash.), could yield the first bipartisan Obamacare bill since the law was passed seven years ago. It could also provide some measure of certainty for insurance companies that have until Sept. 27 to make final decisions about whether to participate in Obamacare markets next year.

  • Health Care, Business Groups Want Congress to Pay Insurers Associated Press by Alan Fram —  A coalition of powerful health industry and business groups asked Congress on Tuesday to finance federal subsidies to insurers for at least two years, a stance that defies President Donald Trump's threats to halt the payments. The money — which cost taxpayers $7 billion this year — reimburses insurance companies for trimming out-of-pocket costs for millions of lower-earning customers. Those cost reductions and the subsidies are required by President Barack Obama's health care law, but a federal judge has said Congress didn't legally authorize the money.  "Persistent uncertainty" about whether Trump will block the money "is a significant driver of current market instability," the groups wrote. They reiterated assessments by insurance companies, nonpartisan budget analysts and others that ending the payments would further drive up premiums for millions of Americans buying individual policies and encourage some companies to stop selling coverage.

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