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Heritage Foundation rips bipartisan health care deal ahead of Trump speech

Heritage Foundation rips bipartisan health care deal ahead of Trump speech
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A senior fellow for the Heritage Foundation, an influential conservative think tank, ripped a bipartisan deal on Tuesday that would provide funding for key health-care subsidies that President Trump recently announced he would cut off. 

In a statement issued hours after Sens. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderOvernight Health Care — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Senate blocks Dem measure on short-term health plans | Trump signs bill banning drug price 'gag clauses' | DOJ approves Aetna-CVS merger | Juul ramps up lobbying Trump signs bills banning drug pricing 'gag clauses' Senate defeats measure to overturn Trump expansion of non-ObamaCare plans MORE (R-Tenn.) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayOvernight Health Care: House passes funding bill | Congress gets deal on opioids package | 80K people died in US from flu last winter Wilkie vows no 'inappropriate influence' at VA Dems push back on using federal funds to arm teachers MORE (D-Wash.), leaders of the Senate Health Committee, announced that they had agreed on a plan to stabilize insurance markets under the Affordable Care Act, Ed Haislmaier, a senior research fellow in health-care policy for the Heritage Foundation, said the proposal would offer little stability for the unsubsidized insurance market.

"For Congress, the most important thing is to recognize that funding the cost sharing reduction subsidies — as many are now calling for — would prop up the subsidized ObamaCare exchange market, but would do absolutely nothing to stabilize the broader, unsubsidized individual market," he said in a statement.

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"What is instead needed to stabilize the unsubsidized market is the removal of ObamaCare's cost increasing insurance mandates and misguided regulations," he added. "To fix that ObamaCare-caused damage and lower the cost of insurance, Congress will need to make other policy reforms."

The statement from Heritage came hours before President Trump was set to deliver a speech on tax reform at the think tank's annual President's Club meeting. 

Speaking shortly after Alexander and Murray announced the deal, Trump said the plan offered only a "short-term" solution for stabilizing insurance markets, though he said that he could support it.

The bipartisan deal unveiled Tuesday provides funding for cost-sharing reduction payments for the next two years and gives states more flexibility to alter ObamaCare rules. It came days after Trump announced that he would end the subsidies.