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Republican Support for Alexander-Murray Grows

By October 23, 2017No Comments

Momentum for bipartisan legislation to shore up the country’s health care market, keep premiums and out-of-pocket expenses low and fund open enrollment continues to grow as Republicans sign onto a deal that has broad Democratic support. The legislation, introduced last week by U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA), already has the backing of a dozen Republican Senators, five Republican Governors and key House Members including Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), Chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, and Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY), Co-Chair of the bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus.

In just a few days, Alexander-Murray has generated more support in the Senate than any of the partisan repeal bills Republicans have pursued to date. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said this weekend that President Trump’s support is vital to bringing Alexander-Murray for a vote, yet without it there are enough votes for it to pass the Senate in a strong, bipartisan fashion, and likely enough votes for it to pass the House. Despite President Trump insisting on one failed attempt at partisan repeal after another, Members of Congress from both parties are taking matters into their own hands and are ready to act on bipartisan health care solutions with or without the engagement of the President. Don’t take our word for it; just look at the growing Republican support for Alexander-Murray below:


Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN): “This Agreement Avoids Chaos.” “‘This would allow the Senate to continue its debate about the long term of health care, but over the next two years I think Americans won’t have to worry about the possibility of being able to buy insurance in counties where they live,’ Alexander said in announcing the deal after a closed-door lunch where he presented it to GOP senators. ‘This agreement avoids chaos. I don’t know a Republican or Democrat who benefits from chaos,’ he said.” [Associated Press, 10/17/17]

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK): “This Short-Term Deal Is An Important Step As We Work Towards Long-Term Solutions.” “For months now, I have been urging a bipartisan approach to healthcare reform. I applaud my colleagues, Senators Alexander and Murray, for continuing to work towards a bipartisan solution addressing some of the most urgent and pressing needs when it comes to the flawed current healthcare law. This is not a problem for Republicans to fix, or Democrats to fix — this is an issue that we all need to come together on. We have to acknowledge that this is a challenge we all share and it’s our responsibility to address it. I’m so pleased to see that the good progress we made in the HELP Committee, in our efforts to stabilize and strengthen the individual market while working to keep premiums from rising, has not stalled. I remain committed to working with my colleagues, on both sides of the aisle, to build upon this progress. This short-term deal is an important step as we work towards long-term solutions. So many of us agree the status quo with healthcare in this country is unacceptable. We must continue our efforts to reform our healthcare system — by reducing costs, increasing access, and providing quality healthcare that Americans deserve.” [Sen. Murkowski, 10/17/17]

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME): “I’m Very Pleased That Lamar Alexander And Patty Murray Continue To Work So Hard To Try To Stabilize The Insurance Markets, To Lower Premiums, And To Provide Some Stability.” “I’m very pleased that Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray continue to work so hard to try to stabilize the insurance markets, to lower premiums, and to provide some stability, which is really needed. This bill may not be perfect. I would have liked to have seen a specific authorization and some seed money for reinsurance pools, which would further help to lower premiums. But this is a good package, and I hope it will be passed very quickly so it can have an impact on rates this year.” [Meet the Press, 10/17/17]

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ): “I Look Forward To Voting In Support Of This Bill.” “I want to commend Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Murray for reaching a bipartisan agreement to help stabilize the individual health insurance marketplace. As I have repeatedly stressed, health care reform ought to be the product of regular order in the Senate, and the deal reached today marks a critical step towards that end. Over the past several months, the HELP Committee heard testimony from governors, insurance commissioners, and stakeholders about ways to provide short-term relief to the individual marketplace and streamline the 1332 waiver process to provide states with greater flexibility. While this deal certainly doesn’t solve all the problems caused by Obamacare, it shows that good faith, bipartisan negotiations can achieve consensus on lasting reform. It is my hope that this is a sign of increased bipartisanship moving forward. I look forward to voting in support of this bill.” [McCain Statement, 10/17/17]

Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD): “We Protect Low-Income Families From Even Higher Premiums By Temporarily Continuing The CSR Payments For Two Years. “Our agreement will give us time to stabilize the market and provide meaningful flexibility and relief to states while we continue our efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare with a competitive, market-based health care system that is actually affordable. In the meantime, we protect low-income families from even higher premiums by temporarily continuing the CSR payments for two years.” [Sen. Rounds, 10/19/17]

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN): “Congress Has A Responsibility To Ensure That Families In Tennessee And Across Our Country Who Receive Health Insurance Through The Individual Market Do Not Continue To Be Burdened With Rising Premiums And Fewer Choices.” “Congress has a responsibility to ensure that families in Tennessee and across our country who receive health insurance through the individual market do not continue to be burdened with rising premiums and fewer choices. This bill is a temporary fix that will give states the flexibility they need as we work to develop a health care replacement that will stand the test of time and work better for the American people, and I applaud Senator Alexander’s leadership on this important issue.” [Sen. Corker, 10/18/17]

Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) And Lindsey Graham (R-SC): “Without A Stabilization Package, The Market Will Collapse And Advance Premium Tax Credits Will Spike.” “Without a stabilization package, the market will collapse and advance premium tax credits will spike. This would increase the costs to the American taxpayer.” [Joint Statement, 10/19/17]

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA): “This Bipartisan Bill Will Work To Help Stabilize The Markets For The Next Two Years, Give Permanent Flexibility To States Like Iowa, And Offer More Choices To Consumers On The Individual Market.” “This bipartisan bill will work to help stabilize the markets for the next two years, give permanent flexibility to states like Iowa, and offer more choices to consumers on the individual market. While I was disappointed that the Senate was unable to advance important changes to ObamaCare earlier this year, I remain committed to working to find ways to repeal and replace ObamaCare, and provide relief for Iowans suffering from skyrocketing premiums and dwindling individual market options.” [Sen. Ernst, 10/19/17]


Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC): Alexander-Murray Bill Is “A Good Start.” “Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Mark Meadows, who’s been at work on a proposal of his own, was slightly more positive, calling the Alexander-Murray bill ‘a good start’ but saying much more work needed to be done.” [Associated Press, 10/17/17]

Problem Solvers Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) And Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ): “We Want To Commend Senators Murray And Alexander On Their Breakthrough Today.” “We want to commend Senators Murray and Alexander on their breakthrough today. It aligns closely with our framework and we look forward to working closely with Congress and the White House to pass bipartisan legislation.” [Statement, 10/18/17]


Govs. John Kasich (R-OH), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Steve Bullock (D-MT), Bill Walker (I-AK), Tom Wolf (D-PA), Brian Sandoval (R-NV), Terry McAuliffe (D-VA), John Bel Edwards (D-LA), Charlie Baker (R-MA), Phil Scott (R-VT): “We Urge Congress To Quickly Pass Legislation To Stabilize Our Private Health Insurance Markets And Make Quality Health Insurance More Available And Affordable.” “We urge Congress to quickly pass legislation to stabilize our private health insurance markets and make quality health insurance more available and affordable. Senators Alexander and Murray have negotiated in good faith and developed a bipartisan agreement that will help achieve these goals. Their legislation deserves a vote by the House and Senate.” [Letter, 10/18/17]

Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR): “I’m Very Supportive Of Congress Addressing [CSRs].” “‘You’ve got an impact on 4,000 Arkansans that are having the rug pulled out from underneath them right now,’ Hutchinson said. To protect such consumers, Hutchinson said, Congress should approve money to restore the cost-sharing payments. ‘I’m very supportive of Congress addressing this,’ Hutchinson said. ‘This is another thing that’s back in their lap.’” [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 10/18/17]