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Press release
March 19, 2018

The Alexander Proposal Gives Lawmakers a False Choice on Individual Market Stabilization

Following is the statement of Frederick Isasi, the Executive Director of Families USA,  in response to the individual market stabilization proposal released earlier today by Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Representative Ryan Costello (R-Pa.):

“The Alexander proposal gives our nation a false choice:  providing reinsurance to health insurance companies, while at the same time making coverage less affordable for low-income and working families.

“Specifically, the proposal restores federal ‘cost-sharing reduction’ (CSR) payments to health insurers, paradoxically leading to a significant increase in premiums for many low-income people.

“Families USA has long advocated for renewing the federal reinsurance program – where the federal government pays a portion of health insurers’ claims for high-cost patients to lower premiums and stabilize the market— but not at the expense of low-income families.

“On top of this, the proposal maintains the Hyde Amendment, language that would restrict women’s access to critical reproductive health care services. Instead of working to ensure that the legislation helps families afford health care, they are injecting into this effort one of the most divisive issues in our nation. We cannot support any legislation that further extends the Hyde amendment to the individual market.

“Congress can and should pass a bill to stabilize the insurance market that benefits all families struggling to afford health care. To that end, we call on Congress to:

  • Drop the CSR payments from the Alexander proposal, unless they can find another mechanism to shield middle-class and low-wage working people from higher costs.
  • Drop the Hyde Amendment.

View our fact sheet for more information on why restoring cost-sharing reduction payments would harm families.