Oregon Democrat Pushes Affordable Care Act Fix

Jul 13, 2017
Originally published on July 12, 2017 4:39 pm

As Republicans work to replace the Affordable Care Act, Democrats have taken up a challenge to improve the existing health insurance marketplace.

Last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said a limited health care bill could be needed to stabilize the individual marketplace.

A group of 10 House Democrats have now taken him at his word and unveiled a five-part plan.

Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., is among those lawmakers.

Speaking at an event Wednesday, he said he knows some people have seen their premiums and deductibles increase. But, he said, this bill would give those people other inexpensive options and stabilize the marketplace.

“We realized that the Affordable Care Act isn’t perfect. The individual marketplace is the only real problem," Schrader said. "Let’s deal with that. I think that’s got a lot of juice both with the House and Senate.”

Democrats want to increase enrollment, particularly among healthy people, to help drive down those rising exchange costs.

They also want to reduce the ways people can jump into the market when they’re sick and out when they’re healthy.

In addition, Democrats want to draw up bidding areas in an effort to make sure rural counties aren’t at a disadvantage.

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