GOP senators meet with insurer for input on ObamaCare repeal

GOP senators meet with insurer for input on ObamaCare repeal
© Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

The Senate's working group on healthcare Tuesday met with Blue Cross Blue Shield as Republicans look to get input on their ObamaCare repeal bill. 

"We really focused on the insurance aspect — how do we build a plan that works for the insurers in terms of making sure they participate and helping keep premium costs down?” said Sen. John HoevenJohn Henry HoevenSenate GOP urges Trump administration to work closely with Congress on NAFTA GOP lawmakers want Trump to stop bashing Congress Chao names participants selected for drone pilot program MORE (R-N.D.).

Insurance companies have also been pushing for the continued funding of ObamaCare's cost-sharing reduction subsidies, which reimburse insurers for giving discounted deductibles to low-income enrollees. 

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Insurers have threatened to pull out of the insurance market or raise premiums substantially if the payments aren't funded. 

The Trump administration said it made the May payment but hasn't reached any decisions about the future. 

Hoeven said the payments were discussed but "we don't have a consensus yet." 

Insurers need to know before the federal deadline in June whether the payments will continue. 

Republican Conference Chairman John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneHillicon Valley: Mnuchin urges antitrust review of tech | Progressives want to break up Facebook | Classified election security briefing set for Tuesday | Tech CEOs face pressure to appear before Congress Senate GOP urges Trump administration to work closely with Congress on NAFTA Post-Zuckerberg, tech CEOs under pressure to testify MORE (R-S.D.) said decisions on the payments need to be made fairly quickly. 

"You've got to have a plan that provides stability in the marketplace for the short term," Thune said.

"The one thing I think we don't want to have is insurance companies that have already built those in [for 2018 plans] — if all of a sudden those are taken away you're going to see some pretty significant plan increases."