Kasich: Bipartisan healthcare plan could come in a week

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Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) are working on a bipartisan proposal to stabilize ObamaCare that they say could be unveiled as soon as a week from now.

“We’re getting very close,” Kasich said in a joint interview with Hickenlooper on Colorado Public Radio. “I just talked to my guys today, and men and women who are working on this with John’s people, and we think we’ll have some specifics here. John, I actually think we could have it within a week.”

Kasich and Hickenlooper, members of opposing parties, have been doing a series of interviews calling for a bipartisan approach on healthcare to stabilize insurance markets.

They hope to present their plan to the Senate Health Committee, which is hoping to finalize a stabilization bill by mid-September and will be holding hearings early in the month.

“We’re trying to stabilize insurance markets here first,” Kasich said. “I mean, you have to find things that you can agree upon, and this is the most critical aspect of what needs to be fixed.”

{mosads}Kasich has called for funding ObamaCare payments known as cost-sharing reductions, which President Trump has threatened to cancel.

Another aspect of the plan, Hickenlooper said, could be funding aimed at bringing down premiums by helping insurers cover the costs of the sickest enrollees, a program known as reinsurance.

Hickenlooper called that idea “top on our list.”

On a Republican priority, Kasich said the plan could ease up on ObamaCare’s mandate for employers to provide coverage by increasing the number of employees a company has to employ before triggering the need to provide coverage. Right now, companies with 50 employees or more have to provide health coverage.

Similar ideas have also been put forward by a bipartisan group in the House known as the Problem Solvers.

Other Republican governors, though, are still in discussions around a repeal effort, namely a plan put forward by Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).  

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