Senate: We can do bi-partisan healthcare reform

It is clear that if meaningful healthcare legislation it is coming from the Senate and not Congress. Both Republican’s and Democrats are crafting bi-partisan healthcare plans to fix the present Affordable Care Act issues.

Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R- Tenn.) said he is open to holding a hearing on legislative suggestions to fix the 2010 Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) from Republicans or Democrats.

“I don’t think the House action has changed a thing for me and the urgency of our need to deal with it,” the Tennessee Republican told reporters. “I intend to introduce legislation to try to solve the problem of people who may be without insurance in 2018 and I’m looking for bipartisan suggestions about how we move forward.”

MUST READ: Sen. Bernie Sanders wants to work with President Trump on healthcare.

Meanwhile, on the Democratic side of the upper chamber Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WVa.)  said Democrats are aware that the ACA has its problems. He pointed to issues in the private insurance market and substantial out-of-pocket costs due to high insurance deductibles.

“Anybody that wants to sit down legitimately and fix it, count me in,” Manchin said.

“I know many of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle do care deeply about fixing our nation’s health care problems. And we’re ready to do that with them in a bipartisan way,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor Monday. “But of course, repeal must be taken off the table and the president must stop hurting citizens by undermining the Affordable Care Act.”

While the House is moving on to other issues and promising to reconsider healthcare reform at a later date.

Two well respected Republican Sens. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Susan Collins of Maine pushing their bill and they are finding senators and stakeholders willing to talk about their bill, the Patient Freedom Act, which they believe is a rare avenue for bipartisan cooperation.

“I like to think the Cassidy-Collins bill is well-positioned as a path forward,” Cassidy said Monday.

The bill’s co-sponsor Sen. Cassidy pointed out that his bill gives states the option to keep key Obamacare provisions in place. States would have two other options under their bill: adopt a market-based insurance system or design its own system with help from the federal government.

“I would to like think that we’re not going to get stuck on semantics,” Cassidy said.

Over at the White House President Donald Trump has been getting calls from high ranking Democrats and Republicans willing to work in a bi-partisan way. Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Monday that “absolutely” the president is willing to work with Democrats to pass legislation in the wake of the failed GOP-crafted health bills.

So, while healthcare seems to be a dead issue in the House as they move on to Tax Reform that is not the case in the Senate. They are working hard on some bi-partisan meaningful healthcare legislation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.