Governor Bullock, Republican, Democratic, and Independent governors urge Congress to stabilize health insurance markets - news.mt.gov

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Governor Bullock, Republican, Democratic, and Independent governors urge Congress to stabilize health insurance markets

Thursday, October 19, 2017/Categories: Governor's Office/Tags:

Governor Steve Bullock and a bipartisan group of governors are urging Congress to “quickly pass legislation to stabilize our private health insurance markets and make quality health insurance more available and affordable.”

Last week Governor Bullock criticized the White House’s announcement that it will end the Cost-Sharing Reduction Payments and called on Congress to take immediate action to stabilize the insurance market. Bullock also criticized the White House’s recent Executive Order on healthcare, calling it a “reckless stroke of a pen,” and urged the Administration and Congress to once again pursue an open and transparent process to find a bipartisan solution on healthcare reform.

In the latest joint letter, Governor Bullock (D-MT), Governor Hickenlooper (D-CO), Governor Kasich (R-OH), Governor Walker (I-AK), Governor Wolf (D-PA), Governor McAuliffe (D-VA), Governor Bel Edwards (D-LA), Governor Sandoval (R-NV), Governor Baker (R-MA), and Governor Scott (R-VT) wrote, “Stabilizing insurance markets is one of the primary areas where Congress can take action to ensure that consumers have affordable health care options. As governors, we deal with real-life impacts of actions taken in Washington, DC.

With heightened uncertainty at the federal level, many of our states have worked hard to ensure that every part of our states has insurers willing to offer plans on the individual market. We have explored, designed, and implemented programs to keep costs from spiraling out of control.

That is why Congress should, at a minimum, fund cost-sharing reduction payments through 2019.”

The latest bipartisan letter is attached to this email.

Last month Governor Bullock and a similar group of Republican, Independent and Democratic Governors asked Congress to reject the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson amendment and instead support bipartisan efforts to bring stability and affordability to insurance markets. Governor Bullock testified in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions and urged the committee to focus on the immediate steps Congress can take to stabilize premiums and help individuals in the insurance market.

Governor Bullock has consistently called on Congress to work with Republican and Democratic governors to find bipartisan solutions to fix America’s healthcare system. In August, Bullock joined 4 other Democratic governors, 5 Republican governors, and 1 Independent to pursue an open, bipartisan process. He then joined a similar bipartisan group of governors to suggest a set of guiding principles to address rising healthcare costs and restore stability to insurance markets.

Bullock has publicly criticized the secretive, one-party process to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act as “exactly what’s wrong with Washington, D.C” and blasted previous House and Senate proposals that would have damaging impacts on Montanans “half-baked and heartless.”

Bullock worked with Republican and Democratic legislators to pass the Health and Economic Livelihood Partnership (HELP) Act, an innovative approach to Medicaid expansion. This has led to a dramatic drop in the number of Montanans without insurance. Nearly 80,000 Montanans have gained access to healthcare and the uninsured rate in Montana has dropped from a staggering 20% in 2013 to 7% in 2016.

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