Senators Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray reached a possible deal on health care to restore the Affordable Care Act (ACA) cost-sharing reduction payments for two years in exchange for more state flexibility.
The plan would restore just over $100 million of funding for ACA outreach.
Republicans would get a provision they wanted – a drastic change in how states measure affordability of insurance under their waiver requests, allowing states a lot more flexibility.
The possible deal would make it easier for states to get waivers in order to customize the rules to the individual states needs. In the past, getting waivers has been very long and difficult process. The way the possible deal would work allows states to copy other waivers that have already been approved.
While the deal does not actually loosen ACA regulations, it does allow enrollees to sign up for a catastrophic plan, with lower premiums but higher deductibles. Right now, these policies are only available to people under 30.
In order for this deal to be successful, Alexander and Murray have to get enough co-sponsors.
President Trump called it a short-term solution but seems to be supportive. He believes that it may work because “ultimately block grants going to the states is going to be the answer.”