Does Any Obamacare Fix Have a Chance This Year?
Health Care

Does Any Obamacare Fix Have a Chance This Year?

Jonathan Bachman

Supporters of the Alexander-Murray bill to stabilize the Obamacare markets say they have 60 votes in the Senate, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that he would bring it to the floor if President Trump signals that he would sign it. But getting the bipartisan deal through the House isn’t guaranteed, and the White House says that the president wants additional concessions from Democrats before he’ll approve a deal.

The path to any Obamacare fix is also complicated by the competing proposal released Tuesday by Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and House Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady (R-TX). Their plan would restore the ACA’s cost-sharing reduction payments and suspend enforcement of the individual mandate for five years — “effectively replacing one source of rising premiums with another,” Axios’s Sam Baker says.

The Hatch-Brady plan can’t get the 60 votes it would need to pass in the Senate, but it might weaken support for the Alexander-Murray plan.

That all leaves Congress with multiple options on what to do about Obamacare — with doing nothing at all a distinct possibility, at least for the rest of the year. House Speaker Paul Ryan told Reuters Wednesday morning that he doesn’t think anything will happen in Congress as far as Obamacare is concerned until 2018.