Key health insurer backs GOP ObamaCare replacement plan

Key health insurer backs GOP ObamaCare replacement plan
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America’s second-largest health insurer voiced its support for the ObamaCare repeal and replacement bill proposed by GOP House leaders in a letter to lawmakers this week.

Anthem is urging lawmakers to launch the ObamaCare repeal process “as quickly as possible,” Politico reported Friday.

“[It] addresses the challenges immediately facing the individual market and will ensure more affordable health plan choices for consumers in the short term,” Anthem CEO Joseph Swedish wrote to the chairmen of the House Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means committees Thursday, the same day both panels advanced the repeal legislation.

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“These provisions are essential and must be finalized quickly to have the intended impact on products and prices to benefit consumers,” he added, citing the bill’s repeal of ObamaCare’s health insurance tax, tax credits for customers off the ObamaCare exchanges and temporarily keeping the law’s cost-sharing subsidies.

Anthem, which is the largest insurer in the ObamaCare exchanges, said it was formulating rates and making decisions for 2018.

Anthem has previously warned it would leave the markets next year if ObamaCare improvements did not occur.

The insurer is additionally pushing for federal approval for its $54 billion acquisition of Cigna, which remains in flux.

House Republicans unveiled their long-awaited legislation for repealing and replacing ObamaCare late Monday. But it quickly drew criticism from conservatives and major healthcare groups. 

President Trump has endorsed the bill from House GOP leaders and is urging quick action on implementing it to fulfill his promise of repealing and replacing ObamaCare.

“We must act now to save Americans from the imploding ObamaCare disaster,” he said while meeting House Committee chairmen at the White House Friday.