In the News
By Chris Jennewein
Rep. Scott Peters and a bipartisan group of 43 lawmakers on Monday unveiled a plan to stabilize health insurance markets in the wake of Republicans’ failure to repeal Obamacare.
The Problem Solvers Caucus is seeking to build bipartisan support for changes to the Affordable Care Act, which Republicans have been unable to repeal despite repeated attempts.
“This is a starting point for bipartisan solutions to stabilize the individual insurance market, keep Americans covered, and slow the rise of premiums and deductibles,” said Peters. “We all acknowledge there are parts of the Affordable Care Act that need to be fixed and parts that need to be protected, and we are putting party politics aside to get to work.”
The proposal calls for keeping the individual mandate which requires every American to have insurance but would change the law in five key ways:
• Bring the cost-sharing payments for low-income families under the Congressional appropriations process
• Create a “stability fund” that states can use to reduce premiums and limit losses for providing coverage—especially for those with pre-existing conditions
• Adjust the employer mandate by raising the threshold for providing insurance from 50 employees to 500 and changing the definition of full-time work from 30 hours to 40 hours
• Repeal the medical device tax
• Allow insurers to sell across state lines.
The group plans to use Congress’ August recess to meet with constituents and stakeholders to press for bipartisan action in September.