Senators Reach Deal To Stabilize ACA Insurance Markets For 2 Years

Chip Somodevilla  Getty Images

Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

But Trump is behind Alexander and Murray's proposal to restart the subsidies temporarily. He commented after Sen.

Alexander confirmed to reporters Monday that he spoke to Trump over the phone Saturday about restoring the CSR payments and that the President was supportive of him reaching a deal, something even some GOP colleagues have resisted.

That's a concern for Republicans in the House as well, and could lead to a stalemate in Congress on any short-term effort to deal with the Obama health law.

The president insists the end goal is still legislation that sends federal healthcare funds to the states to manage - but prospects, for now, appear dim. Patty Murray (D-WA), anxious that it will contain little in the way of concessions by Democrats on the operations of the Obama health law.

"That's a very good solution", Trump said.

Under the new rules, association health plans will also be exempt from certain ACA rules, such as requirements that they cover standard benefits like prescription drug coverage. Some Republicans have said they do not wish to provide what they describe as a bailout to insurers.

One recent story from the Miami Herald found that the Trump move on CSR payments would mean a big increase for Florida in the amount of federal dollars spent to subsidize those who get their health insurance through the Obamacare exchanges in that state.

Despite his best efforts, Trump is stuck with the reality that Obamacare is still the law of the land and that his own administration is responsible for overseeing the health care system that's been shaped by it.

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The money at issue is roughly $7 billion in annual payments that the federal government makes to insurers to reimburse them for reducing deductibles and co-payments for low-income consumers, something the law requires health plans to do regardless of whether they receive government reimbursement.

Two leading senators say they have the "basic outlines" of a bipartisan deal to resume payments to health insurers that President Donald Trump has blocked.

Democrats were briefed on the deal during lunch Tuesday.

Hours after pronouncing the Democrats' signature healthcare legislation effectively dead and just minutes after saying cost-sharing payments to insurers was a government handout to boost their stock prices, President Trump backed a bipartisan deal that would keep the system afloat and continue the subsidies for "one to two years". In a nod to Republicans, it would give states limited new flexibility to offer cheaper, less generous health plans.

Alexander says they still haven't agreed on what "meaningful" means.

Most immediately, the proposed healthcare compromise would provide critical federal payments to health insurers to help them provide reduced-price health plans to low-income Americans. No Republican voted for Obamacare in 2010 when a Democratic-controlled Congress narrowly passed it, with many Republican lawmakers calling it government over-reach because of the tax provision.

An analysis by Charles Gaba, who runs a website,, that tracks enrollment and costs of ACA insurance, showed that premiums are set to rise an average of 30 percent next year, with premiums in some states, including Iowa, rising much more.

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