WASHINGTON — Even as President Donald Trump renews his threat to undermine the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, senior Republican and Democratic senators announced plans Tuesday to begin work on a bipartisan effort to stabilize the 2010 health care law.
The move — by Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., the committee’s senior Democrat — does not ensure the end of Republicans’ long-running campaign to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
But after last week’s collapse of the Senate GOP repeal effort, it signaled a new willingness by Republican senators to begin work on fixing weaknesses with the current law rather than trying to roll it back.
The effort led by Alexander and Murray will begin with a series of hearings starting the week of Sept. 4, Alexander said Tuesday, announcing his interest in producing legislation by the end of that month to “stabilize and strengthen the individual health insurance market” for 2018.
“Any solution that Congress passes for a 2018 stabilization package would need to be small, bipartisan and balanced,” Alexander said as he invited the committee’s Democrats to participate in the process.
He publicly urged Trump to continue paying subsidies to health insurance companies to offset poor customers’ out-of-pocket medical expenses.
The No. 2 Senate Republican also suggested that the two parties should seek common health care ground. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas said on the Senate floor, “We are forced to…
click here to read more.