Put Out The Fire Instead Of Burning Exchanges To The Ground: Extend Cost-Sharing Reduction Payments (Forbes)

FORBES | Eight years ago, former Democratic Senator John Breaux and I wrote: “Given the acrimony that’s developed over efforts to reform our nation’s health insurance system, many Americans wonder whether true bipartisan agreement on health reform can ever be possible. In short, it can.” Back then, we watched contentious debate over what came to be known as Obamacare, and we never saw bipartisanship materialize. But in 2003 we both participated in creating and enacting the bipartisan Medicare Modernization Act that established the enormously successful Medicare Part D. Bipartisanship was alive then. We missed an opportunity eight years ago, but over the next few weeks we have another prime chance.

The healthcare (and health) of 11 million Americans hangs in the balance. This may sound like a small portion of America’s insured population, and as a percentage it is, but these are all people we know. The 6 percent of Americans who buy their insurance on the individual market are the small business people, contract workers, entrepreneurs, musicians, stay-at-home parents, job seekers, and the millions of Americans who can’t receive coverage through their employers. They are Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. Trump supporters and Hillary voters. And their ability to purchase coverage on the exchanges is in jeopardy, as mixed signals from Congress and the Administration have left insurers scrambling to decide whether to hike already costly premiums or pull out entirely—triggering the beginnings of collapse in some regions.

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