Statement on Alexander-Murray Bipartisan Agreement on Health Care Stabilization

Partners for Better Care strongly supports Chairman Lamar Alexander and Senator Patty Murray ‘s bipartisan agreement on health care stabilization, which will be introduced as legislation later this week. This proposal includes provisions important to patients such as providing Cost-Sharing Reduction (CSR) payments for two years, protecting access to quality coverage, maintaining diverse risk pools, and bolstering individual market enrollment outreach and support.

CSR payments, also known as insurer subsidy payments, make coverage accessible for many patients and families who otherwise could not afford health insurance or care. These payments are particularly critical for low-income patients who rely them to offset copays and deductibles. The bipartisan agreement will lower premiums by 20% in 2019 and will provide greater predictability for patients and stability in the individual market.

In alignment with Partners 2017 health care principles, the bipartisan agreement also includes provisions to ensure access to quality care by preventing pre-existing conditions and rating restrictions, as well as maintaining diverse risk pools. These provisions ensure health plans will provide meaningful coverage and an appropriate scope of benefits and they ensure that all individuals, particularly those with chronic conditions, cannot be charged unreasonable premiums or denied renewability.

Partners is also pleased that the bipartisan agreement bolsters individual market enrollment outreach and assistance. Providing resources and support helps families know when decisions need to be made, and it gives families access to information essential for selecting coverage that best suits each family’s health care needs.

Partners continues to support this bipartisan effort and is heartened to see the Alexander-Murray agreement gain momentum. We appreciate the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions’ thorough process of engagement – from formal hearings to on-going discussions with patient groups and other stakeholders, including Partners for Better Care. Partners looks forward to formal introduction of the Alexander-Murray package and urges the Senate to bring such legislation to the floor when it is introduced; we ask all Senators to support this bipartisan agreement when it comes to a vote.

 

For more information about Partners healthcare principles, Patient Charter, or past support for this effort, please visit PartnersforBetterCare.org or contact Mary Richards, Executive Director, at MRichards@PartnersforBetterCare.org.