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Health groups push for ObamaCare funding in omnibus package

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Health groups push for ObamaCare funding in omnibus package

A coalition of health care providers and insurers on Tuesday called on House and Senate leaders to include additional funding for ObamaCare programs in the upcoming omnibus package to fund the government.

“Immediate action is necessary to reduce premiums for individuals and families that purchase coverage on their own,” the groups wrote in the letter.

The coalition, which includes America’s Health Insurance Plans, the American Hospital Association and the American Medical Association, said Congress should approve multiple years of funding for ObamaCare cost sharing reduction (CSR) payments.

They also called for lawmakers to establish a reinsurance program to bring down premiums and help cover the costs of people with significant health care needs.

“Congress has an important opportunity to act and reduce premiums for consumers for 2019, but time is running short,” the groups wrote. “We urge you to take immediate action to advance bipartisan legislation that includes both premium reduction/reinsurance and funding for CSR benefits as part of the March 23rd omnibus appropriations.”

Democrats have been pushing for the CSR payments and the reinsurance funding for months. Republican Sens. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) and Susan Collins (Maine) have also been pushing for the funding.

The main holdup when the issue was debated in December was the House, given that conservatives there are dead-set against anything they consider a “bailout” of health insurance companies.

The resistance among top House Republicans to the stability funding appears to be lessening, but rank-and-file conservatives remain an obstacle.

However, the omnibus may not need conservative support to pass the House. Some Democrats are expected to support the bill, as it will be the byproduct of a bipartisan spending deal reached last month.

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