The lobbying group representing insurers said Wednesday that it supports a bipartisan bill meant to stabilize the Obamacare exchanges, though the measure has stalled in the Senate after various lawmakers and President Trump came out against it.
America's Health Insurance Plans said it supported the legislation and was "encouraged" by it, saying it would continue working with Congress and the Trump administration on improving access to coverage.
"Millions of Americans depend on the individual market for their healthcare coverage," the group said. "This bill will provide American consumers with a more stable insurance market, states with more flexibility to meet the needs of their citizens, and more choice and more affordable care."
The deal, revealed Tuesday, would fund insurer payments known as cost-sharing reduction subsidies for the remainder of the year and for the next two years. The funds reimburse insurers for giving lower out-of-pocket costs to low-income customers. Though those customers would still receive the discounts under Obamacare, the federal government would pay more in a different type of subsidy for premiums to make up for the difference. People who do not receive subsidies, who buy coverage both on and off the Obamacare exchange, would personally pay for the premium increases.The deal also would allow insurers to sell coverage known as the "copper" plan to people 30 years and older, which offers lower premiums but higher deductibles and is meant to bring healthier people into the marketplace. Under Obamacare, the plans can currently be sold only to people who are 29 years old and younger.
Trump and other Republicans have said that they do not support insurer payments because they view them as a "bailout" to insurers. Trump cut off the payments last week, with an official statement noting a judge had ruled the payments illegal but also publicly saying he wanted to force Congress to arrive at a deal on healthcare.