GOP's Health Bill Lowers Premiums - Why Democrats Won't Support It
Agnus Smith | Published: June 14, 2018
The GOP released a new healthcare that aims to both stabilize the health insurance marketplace and lower health insurance premiums. The Democrats are opposing the bill which includes language that would further restrict federal funding for abortions.
The health insurance marketplace was created under the Affordable Care Act and was intended to create a greater level of health equity in the US. However, since 2014, the health insurance marketplace has faced a backlash with the rising costs of premiums, along with major health insurance carriers pulling their plans.
In an attempt to create more competition, and ultimately drive costs down, President Trump has passed a few different pieces of legislation that have created uncertainty in the healthcare world. Legislation that includes eliminating the individual mandate, deregulating qualified health plans, and eliminating subsidies for health insurers.
Health insurance prices are expected to rise once again this year, and Senator Lamar Alexander, Senator Susan Collins, Representative Greg Walden, and Representative Ryan Costello, are looking to ease the burden.
What The New Healthcare Bill Proposes
Under the new healthcare bill, the government would allocate additional funds to both states and health insurers. The funds would be spread out over 3 years starting in 2019 and would provide subsidies for health insurance companies which would allow them to insure low-income members and $30 billion for states to provide coverage for residents with high medical costs.
Sponsors of the bill are hoping to get bipartisan support fast, so it can be included in the spending package Congress is expected to approve soon. President Trump was hoping to include legislation that would lower premiums in the spending package, which is why the bill was put together in the first place.
Why The Bill Doesn’t Sit Well With Democrats
If additional healthcare funding was the only piece of legislation being proposed, the bill would probably have received bipartisan support. However, a spokesperson for Senator Patty Murray, the top Democrat on the Senate health committee, released the following statement:
”Senator Murray is disappointed that Republicans are rallying behind a new partisan bill that includes a last-minute, harmful restriction on abortion coverage for private insurance companies instead of working with Democrats to wrap up what have been bipartisan efforts to reduce health care costs.”
Abortion has long been a dividing subject among Democrats and Republicans, and federal funding for the controversial procedure has set back healthcare talks for quite some time. Democrats and Republicans are still hoping to work a deal out that would benefit the American people.
If the new healthcare bill was added to the spending package, the CBO projects it will not add to the federal deficit, and it would lower the cost of premiums for individuals and families by 40%.