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NH officials call on Congress to pass bipartisan health care measure

Staff Report
October 16. 2017 10:02PM




CONCORD — Gov. Chris Sununu and Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny on Monday waded into the national health care debate in a letter to leaders in Congress, urging them to restore cost-sharing reduction payments and pass “the Lower Premiums Through Reinsurance Act of 2017,” a bipartisan measure sponsored by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Senator Bill Nelson, D-Fla.

The reinsurance program proposed in the legislation would help offset the loss of cost-sharing reduction payments by the federal government, announced last week by President Trump.

The letter went to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

It calls on Congress to restore funding for the cost-sharing reduction payments until Congress acts to revise the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.

“Five governors, three Republicans and two Democrats, have also supported this approach and it is consistent with the principles of federalism,” according to the letter.

The average 2018 rate increase for New Hampshire citizens buying their health coverage on the Obamacare exchange at healthcare.gov is estimated to be 52 percent for those who are not eligible for a subsidy. More than a quarter of participants in New Hampshire’s individual market pay full premium for their health insurance.

“For these reasons, and because a large number of New Hampshire citizens rely on the individual market to obtain their health insurance coverage, we urge you to take immediate action to fully fund CSR payments until the ACA is reformed,” according to Sununu and Sevigny.

Regarding the Reinsurance Act of 2017, the letter states, “This legislation is a fiscally conservative approach that enables states to stand up their own reinsurance programs quickly and keeps costs to the federal government to a minimum.”


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