Baker calls on Senate committees to stabilize health insurance markets

Governor has said GOP healthcare bill could result in thousands in Mass. losing insurance

David Tanklefsky
May 19, 2017 - 2:34 pm

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker is urging three Senate committees on Capitol Hill to stabilize insurance markets following the passage of the American Health Care Act in the House of Representatives earlier this month.

"I urge the Senate not to pass any bill that threatens the loss of existing health care coverage or makes it more unaffortable for Americans," wrote Baker in a letter to legislative leaders. Baker has previously said thousands of Massachusetts residents could be at risk of losing their insurance under the G.O.P plan.

The governor is calling for Congress to have a transition period for major changes to be made to current health care laws. He says the state could be facing more than $60 million in unreimbursed costs this year and more than $120 million next year if cost-sharing reduction payments with the federal government are not resolved.

Baker says without resolving the situation, 2018 premiums could rise dramatically for some in Massachusetts. Currently, those federal subsidies are part of a lawsuit filed by Republicans in the House against the Obama administration. Baker argues individual states shouldn't be punished for expanding Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act. 

The letter was sent to the Senate Budget Committee, Finance Committee and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

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