Murray, Alexander reach deal to fund CSRs for 2 years

Patty Murray and Lamar Alexander during committee hearing
Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., have reached a bipartisan deal to fund CSR payments for two years.

Just days after President Donald Trump announced he would end cost-sharing reduction payments, two senators have reached a bipartisan deal to fund the subsidies for two years.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., the two leaders of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, reached the deal on Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell confirmed during separate press conferences. 

Schumer said the deal will fund CSR payments for two years. "I think there’s growing consensus that we need stability in the markets," he said.

Further details about the deal were not yet available.

In remarks during a press conference in the Rose Garden on Tuesday, Trump offered support for the ACA stabilization deal. “The solution will be for about a year or two years and it will get us over this intermediate hump,” he said.

However, the president also stressed that the GOP isn’t giving up on the Graham-Cassidy ACA repeal and replacement bill.

“This is a short-term deal, because we think ultimately block grants going to the states is going to be the answer,” he said.

In a press conference on Monday, Trump offered support for the bipartisan negotiations between Murray and Alexander, saying his decision to end CSR payments helped spur Democrats and Republicans to discuss a deal—despite also saying he is happy he ended insurer “bailouts.”

Alexander also said Monday that Trump told him he wants an ACA stabilization package to include "meaningful flexibility for the states” in exchange for funding CSR payments, which insurers receive and then pass on to low-income ACA exchange enrollees.

Editor's note: This article has been updated.

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