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News & Press: National News

Alexander and Murray are close to ACA deal

Thursday, October 5, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Janet Anderson
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Alexander Says He And Murray Are Close To Deal That Would Shore Up ACA Marketplaces.

Bloomberg News (9/28, Edney, Litvan) reports that on Thursday, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) said he and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) “are close to an agreement” to stabilize Affordable Care Act marketplaces, “but the real issue now is securing the backing of leaders from both parties and enough senators to move forward.” The article says the two lawmakers had been working on the deal until the ACA repeal bill which failed earlier this week “gained steam briefly.” The piece adds that it remains “unclear whether their restarted bipartisan effort will eventually be able to gain necessary support,” given that President Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) have both indicated they would not back such a measure.

Reuters (9/28, Heavey) reports that the agreement, which Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) “said was ‘on the verge’ of completion, would stabilize the market for individuals who buy their own insurance plans on the federal or state-based exchanges.” The article adds that the deal “could buoy health insurance companies, which came out forcefully against the Republican repeal effort and have faced uncertainty since” President Trump was elected.

The Hill (9/28, Sullivan) also reports that it is uncertain if Murray’s and Alexander’s deal “could win approval from the full Senate, let alone pass the House.” Several Senate GOP lawmakers, “including Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), are more skeptical of a deal to stabilize ObamaCare than Alexander is.”

Politico (9/28, Haberkorn, Everett) reports that the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, Sen. John Cornyn (TX), said that “we need to try to see if we can come up with a bipartisan agreement. It’s obviously been very hard.” Alexander added, “It’s just not a matter of Sen. Murray and me agreeing. ... What we’re trying to do is find a consensus among a significant number of Republicans and Democrats that can actually get enacted into a result.”

The Washington Times (9/28, Howell) reports that many conservative GOP lawmakers have said “they have no interest in voting for insurer funds they view as a ‘bailout,’ or shoring up a law they think is hopelessly flawed.”

The Washington Examiner (9/28, King) and Congressional Quarterly (9/28, McIntire, Subscription Publication) also cover the story.

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