The two bills are the Alexander-Murray bipartisan health reform bill, which would provide funding to reimburse insurers for reducing cost sharing for low-income enrollees for 2018 and 2019, and another bill that Senator Collins is co-sponsoring with Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL). The Collins-Nelson bill would provide $2.25 million in funding for 2018 and for 2019 for states that obtained 1332 innovation waivers to institute reinsurance programs.The assumption underlying this trade-off is presumably that adoption of Alexander-Murray and Collins-Nelson would offset the damage done to the individual market by repeal of the individual mandate. However, on November 29, 2017, the Congressional Budget Office released a letter to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pension Committee ranking member, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), confirming that adoption of the Alexander Murray bill would not begin to offset the dramatic increase in the number of uninsured that would be caused by the individual mandate repeal.In its November 8, 2017 report on individual mandate repeal, the CBO estimated that repeal would cause 4 million individuals to lose coverage by 2018 and 13 million by 2025. In its October 25, 2017 analysis of the Alexander-Murray bill, the CBO estimated that it “would not substantially change the number of people with health insurance coverage, on net, compared with [the CBO’s] baseline projection.” . . . The CBO’s November 29 projection, therefore, that Alexander-Murray will not begin to offset the coverage losses of the individual mandate repeal is consistent with its earlier projection that CSR funding has little effect on coverage, one way or the other.
December 1, 2017 at 10:00 AM EST