Senator Shaheen Following Bipartisan Healthcare Hearing: “Today’s testimony bolsters the case for immediate action to stabilize healthcare marketplaces”

September 06, 2017

(Washington, DC)—Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued the following statement as the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions begins its series of healthcare hearings with state insurance commissioners and governors to explore bipartisan fixes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

“I’ve said from the very beginning that we need bipartisan cooperation to improve the Affordable Care Act,” said Shaheen. “I’m very relieved that, today, this process is moving forward with bipartisan hearings, and am grateful to Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Murray for their leadership on this effort. This is an important step and I believe today’s testimony bolsters the case for immediate action to stabilize healthcare marketplaces, including providing for multiple years beyond just 2018 cost-sharing reductions that help working families with their deductibles. Now that the ACA repeal debate is behind us for the time being, Congress should take the insightful testimony from these hearings and get to work on bipartisan legislation. I appreciate Chairman Alexander’s willingness to get this done quickly, and I share the same goal of reaching an agreement as soon as possible. We must take this opportunity to stabilize marketplaces immediately and make premiums affordable so Granite State families and Americans across the nation will have access to quality healthcare.”

Earlier this year, Senator Shaheen introduced the Marketplace Certainty Act, which permanently appropriates payments for cost-sharing reductions. It also expands eligibility for hard-working Americans who need help affording their premiums. Though the ACA currently requires the federal government to pay for cost-sharing reductions, the Trump administration hasn’t committed to making consistent payments beyond the current month, which has sent shockwaves and chaos through state marketplaces. Last month, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report concluding that if President Trump ends cost-sharing reduction payments, insurance premiums will grow by 20 percent by 2018 and the national deficit will surge by nearly $200 billion over the next decade.

Senator Shaheen is dedicated to working across party lines to improve the ACA to provide stability to marketplaces, reduce high premiums, bring down the costs of prescription drugs and increase recruitment and training of medical staff to offer more access to care.