With the House on recess and the Senate’s leader saying it’s time to move on, a bipartisan group of more than 40 House members said Monday that Congress needs to act quickly to stabilize the individual health insurance market.
A five-point plan from the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus would abandon any pretense of repealing the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, while boosting spending, repealing one tax, and relaxing regulations.
The caucus, co-chaired by Republican Rep. Tom Reed of New York and Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, is built around an agreement that once members reach consensus on issues, they pledge to vote as a bloc.
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A coalition of roughly 40 House Republicans and Democrats plan to unveil a slate of Obamacare fixes Monday they hope will gain traction after the Senate’s effort to repeal the law imploded.
The Problem Solvers caucus, led by Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) and Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), is fronting the effort to stabilize the ACA markets, according to multiple sources. But other centrist members, including Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), and several other lawmakers from the New Democrat Coalition and the GOP’s moderate Tuesday Group are also involved.
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The Federalist: Surely there are some Democratic Senators who want to work on bipartisan fixes to Obamacare. Why are they not coming to the table?
Grace-Marie Turner: That’s actually what Senator Chuck Schumer said in an impassioned speech before Tuesday’s vote on the Senate floor: “Let us work in a bipartisan nature.” But sadly it’s disingenuous. Their bipartisanship means that the ACA stays in place and that you just add more money to it, or you create new regulations to force even more people to purchase coverage they don’t want.
The bipartisanship really is difficult because of the different ideologies we bring to the table. The words sound nice—and the Senate may wind up going there. But at that point “reform” is going to mean minor tweaks around the edges. We would end up having Obamacare forever if they move towards a ‘bipartisan’ process.
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Congress’s last-ditch attempt to pass a “skinny” bill to kill a few pieces of the health law — many of which Trump could have abolished himself with an executive order — collapsed.
In the intervening six months, Republicans were bedeviled by an enormous backlash from a public that suddenly decided it likes the health care law, cold feet over stripping health care coverage from millions of Americans, damaging intraparty squabbling and a White House that threw bombs at their efforts. Ultimately, an old truth held: Once politicians bestow social benefits, it’s almost impossible to take them away.
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President Donald Trump made one of his most explicit threats to cut off payments to insurance companies to force senators and lobbyists back to the bargaining table for a GOP health-care bill, and saying, for the first time, that he was also willing to cancel some of lawmakers’ health-care benefits.
“If a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon!” Mr. Trump tweeted Saturday.
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