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Battle Over Obamacare
weekly primer
Mar 27, 2018

Sum-Up: On O’Care, Can States Succeed Where Congress Failed?

As we predicted last week, Congress’ last-ditch effort to pass a bill to stabilize Obamacare’s struggling individual market fell apart, and the omnibus went to the President’s desk without it. This means insurance companies will likely announce major rate hikes this September, just before the midterm elections. The angry finger-pointing over this outcome has already begun, and will likely be a constant theme heading into the midterms. The core of the proposal was the same federal reinsurance program and restoration of CSR payments that senators have been struggling to pass since last summer. But Democrats who had long campaigned for a stabilization bill revolted over GOP provisions in the version that was part of the omnibus spending package. One such provision expanded to the private insurance market a ban preventing federal funding of abortion. Another codified Trump administration guidance on cheap, short-term health insurance that Democrats call “junk plans.” The former would have meant a significant and permanent expansion of abortion restrictions, and the latter…

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