McCain, Murkowski get behind bipartisan deal

Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska indicated their support for a bipartisan deal on healthcare reached Tuesday, according to The Hill.

The plan, agreed upon by Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., aims to help stabilize the individual insurance market and would provide a two-year funding extension for the ACA's cost-sharing reduction payments.

"As I have repeatedly stressed, healthcare reform ought to be the product of regular order in the Senate, and the deal reached ... marks a critical step towards that end," Mr. McCain said in a statement.

He added, "While this deal certainly doesn't solve all the problems caused by Obamacare, it shows that good faith, bipartisan negotiations can achieve consensus on lasting reform. It is my hope that this is a sign of increased bipartisanship moving forward. I look forward to voting in support of this bill."

Ms. Murkowski also praised the deal.

"For months now, I have been urging a bipartisan approach to healthcare reform. I applaud my colleagues, Sens. Alexander and Murray, for continuing to work towards a bipartisan solution addressing some of the most urgent and pressing needs when it comes to the flawed current healthcare law," she said in a statement. "This is not a problem for Republicans to fix, or Democrats to fix — this is an issue that we all need to come together on. We have to acknowledge that this is a challenge we all share and it's our responsibility to address it."

She also described the short-term plan as "an important step as we work towards long-term solutions."

Tuesday's bipartisan deal comes after President Donald Trump last week ended CSR payments, which help insurers subsidize the cost of coverage for low-income Americans on the ACA exchanges. In addition to extending funding for the subsidies, the bipartisan deal would allow states to use waivers to change the regulations health plans must satisfy to sell certain plans on the exchange, according to The Hill.

It is unclear whether the bipartisan deal can pass the Senate if it is voted on, according to The Hill. While Mr. McCain and Ms. Murkowski support this week's bipartisan plan, they have previously been among the opposition to Republicans' ACA repeal efforts.


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