Five state insurance commissioners to testify on bipartisan healthcare bill


Five state insurance commissioners will testify in front of the Senate Health Committee next month on ways to stabilize ObamaCare exchanges. 

Commissioners from Tennessee, Washington, Pennsylvania, Alaska and Oklahoma will testify at the Sept. 6 hearing. 

Five Democratic and Republican governors will testify Sept. 7. 

A senior Democratic aide said two more hearings will be scheduled at a later date. 

Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said he hopes his committee can pass a bipartisan bill by the end of September. 

“At these hearings, we will hear testimony from state insurance commissioners and governors—those closest to the problem—on steps Congress can take to help make insurance available at affordable prices. Any solution that Congress passes for a 2018 stabilization package will have to be small, bipartisan and balanced,” Alexander said in a statement Tuesday. 

Alexander said a bipartisan healthcare bill must give states “flexibility” in waiving out of some ObamaCare requirements while funding key subsidy payments to insurers known as cost-sharing reductions.

But Congress has limited time to pass a stabilization bill. Insurers must sign contracts by the end of September to participate in the exchanges next year, unless the Trump administration extends the deadline.

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