The House is on recess and the leader of the Senate is focused on moving on from the health care debate, so a bipartisan group of more than 40 House members said on Monday that Congress must act quickly to stabilize the individual health insurance market.
The Problem Solvers Caucus has developed a five-point plan that abandons any form of repealing the Affordable Care Act. It boosts spending, repeals the one tax and relaxes regulations. The caucus is co-chaired by Republican Rep. Tom Reed of New York and Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey. They have built an agreement that once members reach consensus; they pledge to vote as a bloc.
These are the members of the Caucus:
The group’s five-point health care plan would:
• Provide mandatory funding for “cost sharing reduction” payments to insurance companies to hold down out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles and copayments in Obamacare plans for households earning below 250% of the poverty level;
• Create a stability fund that states can use to reduce premiums and limit insurer losses, especially for people with pre-existing conditions;
• Change the mandate that employers provide coverage to apply only to companies with 500 or more employees, compared with the current 50-employee threshold, and define a full-time workweek as 40 hours, up from 30 hours;
• Repeal the 2.3% sales tax on medical devices;
• Modify sections of the Affordable Care Act to make it easier for states to innovate and enter into compacts to allow for the sale of coverage across state lines.
“For too long, health care has been viewed as a fiercely partisan battleground, but the Problem Solvers Caucus has shown that it is possible to forge cooperation,” Gottheimer said.
“We’ve locked arms to continue the fight for the American people, their families, and their healthcare,” Reed said.
The success or failure of the bipartisan caucus is unknown. The House is on recess until after Labor Day, and the president is threatening to end the cost sharing payments as a way to accelerate an Obamacare crisis. Trump believes this might force Democrats to bargain with the Republican majority.
Do you think this Problem Solvers Caucus can get their plan done?
Credit: USA Today