A bipartisan deal in Congress offers a glimmer of stability for the Obamacare insurance markets. But for it to become law, each party will need to declare a victory — and President Donald Trump will have to agree to prop up a law he just spent months trying to repeal.
For Democrats, the deal negotiated by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) would restore key subsidies that Trump cut off just days ago. For Republicans, it would offer states flexibility to approve health insurance plans that would have the lower premiums they’ve promised voters.
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The framework, which got more immediate support from Democrats than Republicans, will need the lobbying muscle of the White House to win over skeptical Republicans in Congress.
The president’s initial supportive statements in the Rose Garden and in phone calls to Alexander “are helpful because we need his support,” Alexander told reporters. “His recognizing that, in his words, he doesn’t want people to be hurt over the next two years while we’re still debating the long-term consequences of health care, that’s very helpful.”
Trump on Tuesday — despite having abruptly axed the Obamacare cost-sharing subsidies on Oct. 12 and repeatedly declared Obamacare "dead" — praised the idea of Congress restoring the payments as “a very good solution.” The president called it a “short-term solution so that we don't have this very dangerous little period — including dangerous periods for insurance companies, by the way.”