Senator Mitch McConnell is holding off action on the Alexander-Murray bipartisan deal while waiting for a commitment from President Trump that he would approve. The legislation was announced two weeks ago and would fund the cost-sharing reductions and partially restore outreach and enrollment funding for two years, while also removing restrictions on the sale of catastrophic plans. It also makes some changes to 1332 waivers, which allows states to modify ACA standards for how they ensure their residents receive access to coverage and care, within certain “guardrails.” The Congressional Budget Office expects this bill would reduce the deficit by $4 billion over 10 years. House Speaker Paul Ryan has come out against the bill, and there is speculation that it will come down to budget negotiations and a potential government shutdown in mid-December.
Meanwhile, Senator Orrin Hatch and Representative Kevin Brady released a conservative approach to the bipartisan deal that also funds cost-sharing reductions for two years, but repeals the individual mandate for the next few years and retroactively repeals the employer mandate.