Bipartisan agreement reached on ACA subsidies
Briana Brady ‘21
Last week, Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) announced that they had reached a bipartisan deal that would allot government funding to health care subsidies covered by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that were cut by President Trump last week.
These subsidies allow health care companies to cover often unaffordable out-of-pocket costs for low-income individuals and families, and according to The Washington Post, the new compromise between Senators Alexander and Murray would “provide states with greater flexibility under the Affordable Care Act in exchange for authorizing cost-sharing reduction payments known as CSRs for two years. Those payments help offset deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs for low-income consumers who obtain insurance under the ACA.”
According to multiple sources, both Senators Alexander and Murray presented their deal to their respective parties over lunch on Oct. 17. While reportedly receiving positive feedback from Democratic Senator and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, the GOP’s overall feelings about the agreement remain unknown.
President Trump has deemed this agreement a “short-term solution” but seemed to be more focused on the future of the ACA as a whole, saying that Republicans have or “are very close to having the votes” to pass a comprehensive bill to overhaul the ACA — a long-held party goal, according to ABC News.
Dismantling the Affordable Care Act would accomplish a longstanding goal of the GOP and would not only destroy former President Obama’s signature piece of legislation, but also make access to healthcare incredibly difficult for many Americans who currently rely on programs implemented and maintained by the ACA.
After Trump’s cut to the subsidies last week, The New York Times reported top Congressional Democrats Senator Chuck Schumer and Representative Nancy Pelosi said in a joint statement, “Mr. Trump had ‘apparently decided to punish the American people for his inability to improve our health care system.