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>> The first signs of bipartisanship on healthcare after Senate Republicans repeatedly failed in their efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act also known as Obamacare. Lamar Alexander, the GOP chairman of the Senate Health Committee saying he now plans to work with Democrats to repair and stabilize the insurance market.
And insurers are desperate for signs of stability. Earlier this week, President Donald Trump suggested he might cancel nearly $8 billion in subsidies. Insurer say they need to help lower the cost of private health insurance plans through Obamacare. Reuters' health correspondent Caroline Humer says that threat brings an unprecedented level uncertainty to the healthcare market.
>> Health insurers, state insurance commissioners, Wall Street analyst, everybody agrees that if Trump cuts off these subsidies, he is going to destabilized the insurance market place. And that means that insurers will drop out. They have until the end of September to decide if they're gonna stay in the marketplace for 2018.
So, anytime between now and then, we could see them drop out. One of the things that they're talking about is raising rates to 20% if they do stay in. A lot of these insurers have already done double-digit rates. So, this would be that plus another 20% to help pay for losing these subsidies.
>> The subsidies called Cost Sharing Reductions are fundamental to the health laws structure. Insurers have asked Congress to guarantee those funds in the House of Representatives. A bipartisan group of 43 Senators urged funds be appropriated to cover the cost sharing payments. In the senate, Lamar Alexander said his goal is to help lower premiums in 2018 for the roughly 18 million Americans who buy health insurance in the individual market.
Instead of through an employer or a government program such as Medicaid. But the president has said Obama care is failing.>> Let Obamacare implode.>> And appears willing to hasten that along. If Trumps decides to stop the reimbursements, the government would likely face a lawsuit from ensures arguing the payments a stipulated by Obamacare, which remains the law of the land.
Insurers face an August 16th deadline to set their rates for participants in the federal healthcare market. They can still decide to pull out of the marketplace by September 27th.