On Alexander’s ‘unabashedly bipartisan’ effort to save Obamacare subsidies

Sen. Lamar Alexander is taking an “overtly and unabashedly bipartisan approach” to try and save parts of Obamacare after voting earlier to repeal it, reports the New York Times. And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he “willing to take a look” at Alexander’s plan when submitted, reports the Associated Press.

From the Times:

This won’t be easy to do,” acknowledged Mr. Alexander, 77, a Tennessee Republican and longtime public official who is chairman of the Senate health committee, “but we are going to do our best to do it.”

…Even a small bill would be a feat in a Congress that has delivered so few results. But Mr. Alexander, a durable believer in the legislative process, sees it as a possibility, with the alternative being a failure that is certain to rock already reeling individual insurance markets.

“It has to be simple if we are to get bipartisan agreement by mid-September on an issue that has divided the parties so much,” he said. Stabilizing the markets for a year, he said, would provide breathing room to “tackle bigger issues” on health care.

From the AP:

(McConnell) noted Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee is working on “some kind of bipartisan approach” that would involve subsidies for insurance companies.

Alexander recently said he will work with the committee’s top Democrat, Sen. Patty Murray of Washington state, on a bill next month that would pay insurers through 2018. In exchange, Alexander wants Democrats to agree to make it easier for states to choose their own health coverage standards that insurers must provide rather than abiding by former President Barack Obama’s law.

“If the Democrats are willing to support some real reforms rather than just an insurance company bailout, I would be willing to take a look at it,” McConnell said

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