Republican senators have offered an alternative for the ObamaCare marketplaces to the Affordable Care Act that would allow people to purchase insurance without a state-run marketplace and avoid a steep premium hike.
The proposal, unveiled Tuesday, would allow insurers to sell plans in the marketplaces and have them pre-approved by the state before they can open.
Under that plan, insurance companies would have to meet certain requirements to sell to consumers.
The plan also would allow individuals and small businesses to buy health insurance on the federal marketplace.
But it’s not clear how this plan would affect premium hikes.
Lindsey Graham Lindsey Olin GrahamGOP Senate candidate: Trump has ‘zero chance’ of winning re-election in 2018 GOP Senate candidate to visit New Hampshire, Ohio as Trump’s 2020 campaign opens up MORE (S.C.) and Lamar Alexander Andrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderDems hold edge in Tennessee Senate election: poll Dem senators slam Trump over VA bill Overnight Health Care: GOP plays defense over pre-existing conditions | Groups furious over new Trump health plan | GOP to hold votes on Kavanaugh vote | Dems see opportunity to seize on VA controversy MORE (Tenn.) said in a statement.
“I am pleased to offer an option that allows states to continue the protections of ObamaCare while also preserving the consumer protections and protections for individuals.”
The plan, if approved, would replace ObamaCare’s health insurance marketplaces with a federal-run system.
Under the current system, the government administers the exchanges and the states administer them.
But the federal government has signaled that it will step in to help states maintain the existing marketplaces.
The Senate proposal would allow states to sell individual and small business insurance plans on the ACA’s marketplaces through the HealthCare.gov portal.
But it would not allow insurers or states to offer insurance on a federal marketplace, which is also known as exchanges.
It would allow the states to set up their own marketplace.
The White House has criticized the Senate proposal, saying that the ACA has already helped consumers buy coverage.
“This plan would create chaos in the markets,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said.
“The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the Senate’s proposal would cost the American people $2.2 trillion in lost insurance coverage over 10 years.
The bill also includes an excise tax that would be paid by every American.”
The White Hill newspaper reported that the senators offered an amendment to the bill on Tuesday that would also allow states the option of expanding the Medicaid expansion that is currently being phased in to nearly 4 million low-income Americans.
That provision, known as a state option, would expand eligibility for Medicaid for some low- and moderate-income people and expand coverage for adults up to age 65.
The Hill article reported that Senate Republicans would not be able to get this amendment approved by the full Senate before the July 4 recess.
The Senate GOP leadership has indicated it could delay this vote until the fall.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Addison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP Senate nominee touts FBI probe of Kavanaugh after Senate hearing GOP senators slam GOP over VA legislation Overnight Defense: Mattis dismisses talk of Trump’s ‘secret war’ on ISIS | Mattis: We must defeat ISIS at home and abroad | GOP lawmakers introduce resolution to end standoff with Dems over VA funding bill MORE (R-Ky.) has said that he expects the GOP-led Senate to vote on this proposal before the summer recess.
Republicans control 52 seats in the Senate and are seeking to pass the ObamaCare repeal and replace plan with Vice President Pence as the majority leader.
The Republican health care bill has been blocked by Democrats, who have said it does not go far enough to protect Americans from a repeal-and-delay strategy.
Democrats also have raised concerns about the proposed changes to the Medicaid program, which are seen as a key part of the legislation.