Congressional Clock Is Ticking On Efforts To Shore Up Obamacare Insurance Markets
Though some senators say they are cautiously optimistic, it is not yet clear if lawmakers will be able to reach agreement before a self-imposed mid-September deadline. Meanwhile, the outcome of the trial of Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) could have a serious impact on the Senate's ability to either repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, or to fix it. And Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) questions congressional coverage.
Time Crunch Among Hurdles For Bipartisan Senate Push To Bolster ACA
The leaders of a key Senate committee say they are cautiously optimistic about reaching a deal to shore up the Affordable Care Act’s individual marketplaces, but even with a bipartisan effort, it is far from certain whether they can push out an agreement in time. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee leaders of both parties have set a self-imposed mid-September deadline for a bipartisan agreement. To keep lingering animosity from the Obamacare repeal fight from seeping into negotiations, Chairman Lamar Alexander has made clear that what he’s seeking is far from comprehensive. (Reid, 8/18)
The New York Times:
At Senator Menendez’s Trial, Stakes Are High For Democrats
If Mr. Menendez, a Democrat, is convicted and then expelled from the United States Senate by early January, his replacement would be picked by Gov. Chris Christie, the Republican governor of New Jersey and an ally of President Trump. That scenario — where Mr. Menendez’s interim replacement would more than likely be a Republican — would have immediate and far-reaching implications: The Republicans would be gifted a crucial extra vote just as the party remains a single vote shy in the Senate of advancing its bill to dismantle President Obama’s signature health care law. (Goldmacher, 8/17)
Johnson Wants Details On Congressional ObamaCare 'Exemption'
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) wants information about why members of Congress and their staff receive an employer contribution toward their health coverage, which critics have dubbed an ObamaCare "congressional exemption." Johnson's request asks the Office of Personnel Management to preserve records related to the "exemption." (Roubein, 8/17)