Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) made the following statement Tuesday on the proposal released Monday by Senators Alexander and Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Congressmen Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Ryan Costello (R-Pa.) to lower health insurance premiums in the individual market:
“It is disappointing that an opportunity to lower health insurance rates by up to 40 percent for working Americans has turned into a debate about the mechanics of funding for abortion coverage," said Senator Alexander. "Every year since 1976 Republicans and Democrats have agreed that federal dollars cannot be used to fund elective abortions, and our proposal does not change that.
“I've been working since August in a bipartisan way to try to reduce skyrocketing insurance rates. We agree on broadly bipartisan policy that would give states more flexibility, and fund cost-sharing reduction subsidies as well as fund state reinsurance programs for three years. It has been my goal since September to include this proposal in the omnibus spending bill and that continues to be my goal.
“In September and October last year, our committee held four bipartisan hearings and four roundtable discussions on these issues with more than half of the members of the United States Senate participating, and I’ve had many meetings with Democrat and Republican senators this year to discuss the proposal.”
Click here to read the proposal.