Lawmakers see the omnibus budget that must pass Congress in the next two weeks as the last opportunity to mitigate some of the damage that has been done to the individual market over the last year — both through the administration’s regulatory actions and Congress’ repeal of the individual mandate. But it’s far from a sure thing that the omnibus will pass. Conservative groups are railing against health care-stabilization bills, the White House is demanding that poison pills be included, and legislation relating to a bunch of other hot-button issues — from immigration to gun control — is threatening to drag the omnibus down. Prospects are grim even for policies that would save the government money and bring down insurance premiums.
As the federal government continues to throw up its hands over Obamacare, states are moving rapidly to make their own changes.