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 McConnellElection agency limps into 2020 cycle The Hill's Morning Report - Will Joe Biden's unifying strategy work? Dems charge ahead on immigration 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.


"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.