Sen. Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderMcConnell gets GOP wake-up call The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats return to disappointment on immigration Authorities link ex-Tennessee governor to killing of Jimmy Hoffa associate MORE (R-Tenn.) says he spoke to President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by Boeing — Milley warns of 'Sputnik moment' for China WSJ publishes letter from Trump continuing to allege voter fraud in PA Oath Keeper who was at Capitol on Jan. 6 runs for New Jersey State Assembly MORE on Monday about a bipartisan bill aimed at stabilizing ObamaCare markets and that Trump again expressed his support for the measure.
Alexander told reporters Tuesday that Trump asked about the bill when the two appeared together at an event in Tennessee on Monday. Alexander said he told the president he would get back to him after meeting with Sens. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayDemocrats try to back Manchin off killing paid family leave proposal Democrats cutting paid leave from spending deal amid Manchin opposition Under pressure, Democrats cut back spending MORE (D-Wash.) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsFunding for victims of 'Havana syndrome' to be included in Pentagon bill The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Biden makes his pitch as tax questions mount Emanuel defends handling of Chicago police shooting amid opposition to nomination MORE (R-Maine) this week.
“He’s for it,” Alexander said.
Backers of the measure, known as Alexander-Murray, had planned to attach it to a government funding bill last month but had to punt after Congress opted for a slimmed-down, short-term spending measure instead.
They are now hoping to pass the bill when Congress acts on a long-term funding package in the coming weeks, but they still face opposition from House conservatives who say the measure is simply throwing more money at ObamaCare.
Alexander-Murray would fund for two years key payments to insurers that reimburse them for giving discounts to low-income ObamaCare enrollees. Trump cut off those payments last year.
He said it would be “unlikely” for the measure to be attached to a short-term spending bill if Congress has to buy itself more time again.
Democrats are pushing for substantial changes to the bill, arguing that the current version has lost its purpose after Republicans repealed ObamaCare’s individual mandate in the tax bill last month.
However, Democrats have not said publicly what changes they want.
Some health policy experts now warn, though, that cutting off those payments, known as cost-sharing reductions, actually helped ObamaCare through a quirk in the law that triggered increased subsidies that help people afford insurance when the other payments were cut off.
Another bill, which provides funding known as reinsurance that is aimed at lowering premiums, is expected to be included alongside Alexander-Murray if a deal can be reached. Many experts say the reinsurance funding is more important at this point.