Senate leaders invite insurance commissioners, governors to bipartisan healthcare talks

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee, and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., a ranking member of the committee, announced Monday that they will include state insurance commissioners and governors in their bipartisan healthcare hearings, according to The Chattanoogan.

The first hearing, held September 6, will feature state insurance commissioners, while the hearing September 7 will feature testimony from governors.

"While there are a number of issues with the American healthcare system, if your house is on fire, you want to put out the fire, and the fire in this case is in the individual health insurance market," Mr. Alexander said in a statement. "Unless Congress acts by September 27… 9 million Americans in the individual market who receive no government help purchasing health insurance and whose premiums have already skyrocketed may see their premiums go up even more."

Payers have until September 27 to sign contracts with the federal government that will allow them to offer plans on the 2018 ACA exchanges. The senate leaders have not shared any plans to include healthcare providers in their discussions.  

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