July 19, 2017

DONALD WHO?:

Trump urges Senate Republicans to keep trying on healthcare bill (Amanda Becker and Susan Cornwell, 7/19/17, Reuters)


Democrats, clearly delighted with the turn of events, have welcomed the Republicans' failure to replace Obamacare as an opportunity to work together. Republicans conceded their other options may be exhausted.

The No. 2 Senate Republican, John Cornyn, told reporters it was "unfortunate" that he expected bipartisan talks to begin.

"Democrats are strongly committed to Obamacare and are unwilling to admit structural problems, which create the problems we are having in the individual market today," Cornyn said. "But we'll do the best we can with the hand we've been dealt."

If senators try to shore up Obamacare, an initial hurdle in coming weeks will be boosting faltering state insurance markets by ensuring that insurers keep receiving subsidies that help lower the cost of insurance for low-income individuals.

The Trump administration will continue making the subsidy payments through August while a related Republican lawsuit is pending. The uncertainty beyond that has rattled insurers.

Republican senators have acknowledged the need to address the unstable markets but resisted Democratic calls to fund the subsidies without accompanying reforms, calling it a "bailout" for insurance companies.

Funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program, a part of the Medicaid government health insurance program for the poor and disabled, known as CHIP, expires on Sept. 30 and will require reauthorization.

Bills to address the subsidy payments and CHIP would likely require 60 votes for passage, acting as a barometer of how inclined Republicans and Democrats are to work together, industry lobbyists and experts said.

Trump suggested on Tuesday that Republicans should allow the insurance markets to fail before working with Democrats. But Republican Senator Lamar Alexander, the head of the Senate Committee on Health, Labor and Pensions, said he would begin holding hearings on the issue in the next few weeks.


The inevitability of reforming it, not repealing it, was always obvious outside the bubble.

Posted by at July 19, 2017 2:02 PM

  

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