Bipartisan Obamacare fix would cut United States deficit: nonpartisan analysis

Rep. Mark Meadows R-N.C. chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus and Rep. Jim Jordan R-Ohio a key member of the group walk through Statuary Hall at the Capitol in Washington Wednesday Sept. 13 2017. With President Donald Trump wanting

Rep. Mark Meadows R-N.C. chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus and Rep. Jim Jordan R-Ohio a key member of the group walk through Statuary Hall at the Capitol in Washington Wednesday Sept. 13 2017. With President Donald Trump wanting

Earlier this year, the CBO said failing to fund the cost-sharing payments would hike deficits by $194 billion over the coming decade, as premium subsidies keep pace with higher rates. In contrast, the CBO on Wednesday said reinstating the subsidies, as called for in the Alexander-Murray bill, would not substantially alter the number of insured.

GAO found that in 2014, taxpayers funded more than a thousand Obamacare health plans that subsidize abortion on demand-even late-term abortion-in defiance of the Hyde Amendment that Obama publicly said he would honor. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, and Patty Murray, D-Washington.

Insurers say they do not profit from the subsidies, but pass them on directly to consumers to reduce deductibles, co-payments and other out-of-pocket medical expenses for low-income people.

Meanwhile, as the bipartisan Alexander-Murray legislation aimed at restoring CSR payments as a congressional appropriation hung by a thread, threatened by antipathy from the president and undermined by a poison-pill alternative bill, a mediocre impact assessment by the Congressional Budget Office made its enactment look unimportant.

The GAO report also found that almost all of the insurance issuers sampled are not itemizing the required separate abortion surcharge on its bills - confirming that the Obama Administration is ignoring the law's abortion accounting gimmick.

Mr. Alexander said the analysis proves his bill does not extend a "bailout" to insurance companies, as House conservatives and President Trump have charged, as Republican leaders wait for clearer direction from the White House before acting on the bill.

But Alexander and Murray have said that the bill would stabilize the insurance markets and reduce the deficit.

"This legislation is a good-faith bipartisan effort that will help limit increases in health insurance premiums and preserve important consumer protections, such as the Essential Health Benefits package that includes emergency services, while also providing additional flexibility for states to implement innovative approaches to coverage", Parker says.

A different proposal outlined Tuesday by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, would continue the reimbursement payments to insurance companies for the cost sharing reduction subsidies.

That uncertainty also prompted many insurers to stop participating in the marketplaces, which are used by people who don't get coverage through an employer or government program like Medicare or Medicaid.

The Hatch-Brady bill has not yet been analyzed by the CBO. For it to become law, it needs to be approved by the Senate, the House and by Trump.

While it appears that the bill now has enough support to pass the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGun proposal picks up GOP support Children's health-care bill faces new obstacles Dems see Trump as potential ally on gun reform MORE (R-Ky.) has said he won't bring it to the floor for a vote without Trump's approval.

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