Week ahead: Congress returns to take up bipartisan health care effort

Greg Nash

Congress will kick off a busy month on health care when it returns from recess Tuesday.

The Senate’s Health Committee will hold two hearings in the coming week on a bipartisan healthcare bill, with testimony from governors and state insurance officials on Wednesday and Thursday, in addition to two more hearings the following week.

The goal is to pass a bill by the end of the month to stabilize the insurance markets for 2018.

It’s expected the bill would fund key ObamaCare insurer payments, known as cost-sharing reduction subsidies, and make some changes to the law’s 1332 waivers for states.

It will be a challenge, however, for Democrats and Republicans to find compromise after seven months of fighting each other over repeal efforts.


If Congress can pass a bill, it would mark the first major bipartisan effort the parties have made on ObamaCare since the law was passed seven years ago.

Lawmakers also face a critical health care deadline.

On Thursday, the Senate’s Finance Committee will hold a hearing on reauthorization of the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Funding for the program, which helps 9 million low-and middle income children get insurance, expires at the end of September.

Lawmakers need to hammer out a few details: the duration of the reauthorization, whether any measures will be attached and whether to continue enhanced federal matching funds that were first included in ObamaCare.

That could be a challenge under the timeframe, but those involved say there is a bipartisan commitment to getting the reauthorization passed.

On top of that, Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.) are trying to gain traction on their ObamaCare repeal plan, which would block grant funding to states.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has also said that he will introduce his single-payer healthcare bill once Congress returns from recess.

And over in the House, there could be some movement on a long-shot effort led by the conservative House Freedom Caucus to force a vote on ObamaCare repeal.


In case you missed it

Lawmakers to give bipartisanship a try on ObamaCare

Federal judge blocks Texas from enforcing new abortion restrictions

No action on opioid emergency three weeks after Trump declaration

Trump to slash ObamaCare outreach funding

Kasich, Hickenlooper release plan to stabilize ObamaCare markets

Five public health crises facing Houston after Harvey

Kamala Harris announces she will co-sponsor single-payer healthcare

Heller walks tightrope on ObamaCare repeal


Events and hearings

The Senate Health Committee is holding a hearing Wednesday, titled “Stabilizing Premiums and Helping Individuals in the Individual Market for 2018: State Insurance Commissioners.” The hearing is at the Dirksen Senate Office Building, room 430, at 10 a.m.

The Health Committee meets again on Thursday at 9 a.m. in the same room for, “Stabilizing Premiums and Helping Individuals in the Individual Insurance Market for 2018: Governors.”

The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee meets Wednesday at 10 a.m. for a hearing on “The History and Current Reality of the U.S. Health Care System.” The hearing will be in the Dirksen building, SD-342.

On Thursday, the Senate Finance Committee holds a hearing on reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program at 215 Dirksen at 10 a.m.

On Friday, Govs. John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) and John Kasich (R-Ohio) will share their proposal to stabilize the health insurance market. They will speak at the American Enterprise Institute at 9:15 a.m.

Tags Bernie Sanders Bill Cassidy Dean Heller Lindsey Graham

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video