New bipartisan coalition introduces policies to help fix Obamacare

Now that the revised healthcare plan that was proposed to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been voted down for the final time, the two parties are joining forces to form a new bipartisan coalition. The Problem Solvers Caucus, led by Reps. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) and Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), is made up of 21 Republicans and 22 Democrats in the House of Representatives. Another Republican member is expected to join soon, evening up the members’ political affiliations.

Gottheimer, as reported by CNN, stated on the Monday after the replacement bill defeat, “Instead of just focusing on killing the ACA, we’re focused on how to fix it in a smart way. When (Sen. John) McCain said on the floor it’s time to work together like the country wants — that had a big influence on our group. It was a shot in the arm.”

Some of the recommendations and proposals that the Problem Solvers Caucus intend to focus on, according to Modern Healthcare, include:

  • Securing appropriations for cost-sharing reduction payments, the roughly $7 billion in annual reimbursements insurance companies get for offering low-income customers reduced co-pays and deductibles without those costs being priced into premiums.
  • Proposing that the federal government send states money for reinsurance and other strategies to reduce premiums.
  • Asking HHS to revise guidance on Medicaid 1332 waivers, and issue clear guidance on ACA Section 1333.
  • Recommending that the medical-device tax, which has been delayed the past two years, be repealed.
  • Recommending that the employer mandate to provide insurance only apply to companies with 500 employees or more.

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