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Sen. Alexander Announces Healthcare Hearing

The U.S. Senate health committee will hold bipartisan healthcare hearings in September on how to repair and stabilize the individual health insurance market.
Sen. Alexander Announces Healthcare Hearing

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.)

August 8, 2017

According to U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the U.S. Senate health committee will hold bipartisan healthcare hearings in September on how to repair and stabilize the individual health insurance market. Meanwhile, a group of 40 lawmakers from both parties in the U.S. House has endorsed an outline of ideas aimed at making urgent fixes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

“If your house is on fire, you want to put out the fire, and the fire in this case is the individual health insurance market,” said Alexander, who is working with U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) to make the hearings bipartisan. “Both Republicans and Democrats agree on this.”

Congress would have to formulate a solution before Sept. 27, when insurers sign contracts with the federal government over what insurance plans to sell on the federal exchange for 2018. Sen. Alexander also called on President Donald Trump to continue making cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers.

Although the individual markets remain fragile, a new report by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) shows the number of ‘bare’ counties – those counties with no insurer participating in the ACA exchanges — has been reduced significantly. That number has dropped, from 47 counties with no coverage at the beginning of June to just 19 counties with the latest report released on Aug. 2. That represents a reduction of 59.6%.

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