After the Republican effort to repeal and replace Obamacare failed in July, many lawmakers, including Senator John McCain (R-AZ) called for a bipartisan effort to create healthcare reform that would serve to benefit Americans. The Republican chairman of the Senate Health Committee said on Thursday that he hopes to release a bipartisan health care reform effort “within ten days.”
Senator Alexander (R-TN), the chair of the Senate Health Committee told reporters after a healthcare hearing on Capitol Hill that he intends to bring a bipartisan bill to leadership soon. Alexander said:
“I’m going to sit down with (Democratic) Sen. (Patty) Murray and with other senators and come to a conclusion about what I think we can pass. I want to be able to take to Sen. (Mitch) McConnell and Sen. (Chuck) Schumer a consensus proposal within 10 days or so.”
The discussion included governors from five states who called for a bipartisan solution to the current crisis. The governors made their message clear; they want the President and lawmakers to get it together and pass meaningful reform that strengthens Obamacare and create stability in the individual marketplace.
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper (D) said, “It’s time for the federal government to work with us, not against us. Without your help, it’s like climbing one of your Colorado’s famous 14,000-foot mountains in winter without a parka or crampons. It can’t be done. We need immediate federal action.”
The priority of the hearing was a discussion about whether Congress would continue to fund Obamacare cost sharing subsidies. The President has threatened to stop the cost sharing subsidies, a move that would be devastating to governors and the states they serve.
The Governor of Massachusetts, Charlie Baker (R) said of the President’s threats to stop cost sharing, “The big part about the cost sharing piece and the uncertainty associated with it is what it does to the behavior of people in the market. You’re all basically trying to figure out what are the rules of the game and what is the federal government’s role going to be in participating.”