Dems call for ObamaCare hearings in the House

Dems call for ObamaCare hearings in the House
© Greg Nash

Democrats are calling on House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyOvernight Health Care: Initial Senate tax bill doesn't repeal ObamaCare mandate | 600K sign up for ObamaCare in first four days | Feds crack down on opioid trafficking Overnight Finance: Senate GOP unveils different approach on tax reform | House tax bill heads to floor | House leaders eye vote next week | AT&T denies pressure for CNN sale GOP tax bill clears hurdle, heads to House floor MORE (R-Texas) to hold bipartisan hearings on stabilizing ObamaCare markets.

The committee's Democrats in a letter to Brady dated last Friday request that the panel hold hearings, and cite the Senate Health Committee’s hearings this month as an example.

“We request that the Committee on Ways and Means, especially our Subcommittee on Health, likewise hold bipartisan hearings to set the course for expeditious action to stabilize individual insurance markets and lower costs,” they wrote.

The Democrats' request comes as the Senate Health Committee is holding hearings and negotiating a bipartisan bill aimed at stabilizing ObamaCare markets. That bill is expected to fund key ObamaCare payments known as cost-sharing reductions, and provide additional flexibility to states in applying for waivers for ObamaCare regulations.

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House Republicans, though, are generally seen as less amenable to a bipartisan stabilization bill than the Senate. But even in the Senate, the outcome is far from guaranteed.

The Democrats argue in the letter that President Trump has been taking damaging steps by cutting the outreach budget for ObamaCare signups and threatening to end the cost-sharing payments to insurers.

“Looking beyond the partisan rhetoric of the past, we can all agree that issues need to be addressed to strengthen the individual market for consumers,” they write.