WASHINGTON – A coalition of House Republicans and Democrats have agreed to a proposal to update the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
The Problem Solvers caucus – co-chaired by local Congressman Tom Reed (R-Corning, NY-23) and Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and comprised of 43 members from both sides of the aisle – has agreed to a slate of updates and fixes to not overturn, but stabilize, Obamacare.
During his weekly conference call with regional media, Reed outlined details of the stabilization plan, which would work to stabilize the insurance market. In addition, it would also makes a series of changes that have received bipartisan backing.
Highlighting the agreement is a proposal to fund Obamacare subsidies, which insurance companies rely on in order to stabilize rates and reduce out-of-pocket costs for the poor.
We would pay for the stabilization through a state stability fund, as well as the cost sharing reduction payment – that is the subject of a lawsuit and have been ruled illegal by the courts – coming from the White House and going to the insurance carriers,” reed said.
The Plan would include several other fixes, including raising the employment number from 50 to 500 to better protect small businesses and increasing full-time status from 30 hours to 40 hours.
WRFA asked Reed what his biggest concern was with the proposal, and he said that it may send the wrong message regarding his stance on Obamacare’s future.
“We stand for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. We don’t think it’s the best healthcare policy for America. We need to do better for the American people. And so maybe some people are thinking if we do this, they’ll think that we’ve abandoned our position when it comes to the Affordable Care Act. That’s just not accurate, but we can see that attack. I can see that as being something people will throw out there,” Reed said.
The Problem Solvers Caucus only comprises 10 percent of the total House membership, but Reed said it does send a signal to the rest of Washington that it’s time to work together.
“We’ve shown as 43 members from diverse areas of the country who have different districts, but at the end of the day we can go into a room, look each other in the eye – it takes a lot of hard work – and we can trust each other and we can start to compromise where 80 percent of the loaf is a victory for each of us. That to me is the greatest win.”
Even if lawmakers were to agree to the plan, it would also need the approval of President Donald Trump, who’s said numerous times he wants to fully repeal and replace Obamacare, and he’s willing to pull funding in order to expedite the process.
The roll out of their stabilization proposal follows weeks of meetings between Problem Solvers caucus members, who wanted to develop a plan to stabilize Obamacare if the GOP’s repeal effort sputtered.