Health groups recommend fixes to ObamaCare

Health groups recommend fixes to ObamaCare
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A group of 14 health organizations is asking Congress to "strengthen" ObamaCare instead of repealing it. 

In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSessions: 'We should be like Canada' in how we take in immigrants NSA spying program overcomes key Senate hurdle Overnight Finance: Lawmakers see shutdown odds rising | Trump calls for looser rules for bank loans | Consumer bureau moves to revise payday lending rule | Trump warns China on trade deficit MORE (R-Ky.) led by the American Heart Association, the organizations recommend five ways to stabilize the individual insurance market and bring down premiums and other costs. 

"Our organizations have long said the [Affordable Care Act] is by no means perfect, but it made important gains in access to coverage," the groups wrote in the letter.

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"It is clear that steps must be taken to both stabilize the individual health insurance marketplace and bring down premiums and other out-of-pocket costs. These changes are critical to maintain and expand access to quality and affordable insurance for low- and middle-income families across the nation."

The Senate Health Committee will hold bipartisan hearings on a short-term stabilization bill in September, though it's not clear what such a measure would include. 

The groups recommend funding ObamaCare's cost-sharing reductions, which reimburse insurers for giving discounted insurance to low-income customers. 

Insurers have threatened to hike premiums or leave the market altogether if the payments aren't continued.

The groups urge Congress to find a way to fill counties that don't have any ObamaCare insurers for 2018 and to implement reinsurance pools to help insurers cover high-cost patients. 

The health groups also recommend expanding income eligibility for tax credits and continuing outreach to ensure people sign up for ObamaCare plans.