House Republicans coming around on ACA stabilization

Affordable Care Act highlighted
House Republicans may be open to ACA fixes. (Getty/Ellenmck)

House Republicans are a major roadblock to any Affordable Care Act stabilization bill, but their opposition may be waning. 

Some conservative representatives have expressed interest in funding reinsurance, according to an article from The Hill, though others within the party view the idea as a "bailout" for insurers that are losing money in the ACA exchanges. 

Representatives pushing for stabilization legislation, however, said they were optimistic about their chances, according to the article. 

"That reflects the political reality that we are not going to be doing some large, sweeping healthcare bill in the next year," said Rep. Ryan Costello, R-Pa., who is sponsoring a bill that would provide stabilization funds in 2019 and 2020. 

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Republicans leading the same charge in the Senate are also optimistic about their chances. Sen. Susan Collins, of Maine, told reporters last week that negotiations with their counterparts in the house are "going very, very well." She said she has spoken with Speaker Paul Ryan, of Wisconsin, twice about the ACA stabilization measures. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promised to back the ACA stabilization bills in exchange for Collins' vote on the GOP's tax package, which was passed in December. 

Though some Republicans are hesitant to back reinsurance legislation, there is a growing push within the party for it, according to The Hill. ACA stabilization is expected to be a hot topic at the party's retreat in West Virginia this week. 

A positive sign is the backing of Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., who chairs the House Energy and Finance Committee. A committee spokesperson told the outlet that Walden believes Costello's bill is a "fair approach" that offers states greater flexibility. 

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Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said that President Donald Trump also backs the stabilization bills. Alexander hopes to include these provisions in a long-term spending bill, a sentiment that has been echoed by Collins. 

Top Democrats, including Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, also want to add elements that would account for the additional destabilization caused by the repeal of the individual mandate.