Health

Ryan Comes Out Against Alexander-Murray Health-Care Deal

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter

House Speaker Paul Ryan won’t support the bipartisan health care deal brokered between Sens. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Patty Murray of Washington, his office announced Wednesday.

The agreement would have funded cost-sharing reduction subsidies (CSRs) for two years while providing more flexibility to the states, which proponents argue is necessary to prevent the destabilization of the insurance market. But critics argue that allocating federal dollars toward CSRs provides unnecessary bailouts for insurers.

While advocates of Alexander-Murray say it would provide the upper chamber with ample time to come to a consensus on a long-term health care reform plan, it appears unlikely that the bill, which has not yet been finalized, would be brought to the House floor.

“The speaker does not see anything that changes his view that the Senate should keep its focus on repeal and replace of Obamacare,” Ryan spokesman Doug Andres said in a statement.

The Wisconsin Republican’s decision to come out against the bill comes shortly after President Donald Trump reversed course on his support the measure, coming out against it Wednesday morning due to its language on insurance subsidies.

The White House announced earlier this month that it would no longer provide CSR funding, a move Democrats blasted as an attempt to undermine the Affordable Care Act.

Murray and Alexander were aiming to release bill text before the end of the week.

“I wouldn’t say it’s dead, but at the moment the patients not doing well,” Republican Senate Conference Chairman John Thune told reporters Wednesday.

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