Bipartisan Healthcare Deal Falters – What’s Next for ACA?
A deal announced yesterday by Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) to continue ACA CSR payments for two years in exchange for more state flexibility appears to have stalled from conservative opposition. Key among these opponents President Donald Trump, who after the news of the deal voice his support. That support changed as the day went on, eventually referring to it as an insurance “bailout”.
“I am supportive of Lamar as a person & also of the process, but I can never support bailing out ins co’s who have made a fortune w/ O’Care.” Said the President via Twitter Wednesday morning.
I am supportive of Lamar as a person & also of the process, but I can never support bailing out ins co’s who have made a fortune w/ O’Care.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 18, 2017
The President’s support for this bill is crucial, as he will eventually need to sign the bill into law.
Also among the opponents is House Speaker Paul Ryan.
“The speaker does not see anything that changes his view that the Senate should keep its focus on repeal and replace of Obamacare,” Ryan spokesman Doug Andres said.
After seven years of calling for the ACA to be repealed, coupled with several failures to pass legislation to do just that, it will be difficult for Republicans in Congress to do anything that resembles supporting bolstering the unpopular law — especially without the political cover offered by the Speaker’s or the President’s support.
In a morning tweet, Senator Alexander stated he would work with President Trump to make the bill “even stronger” in protecting consumers.
The Alexander-Murray agreement has strong language to do that, and I will work with the president to see if we can make it even stronger.
— Sen. Lamar Alexander (@SenAlexander) October 18, 2017
Senator Murray however, views the bill as being final. “We negotiated,” she told Politico.