Senator Collins Joins Bipartisan Group of 24 Senators to Cosponsor Legislation to Stabilize Premiums, Increase Access to Insurance

12 Republicans and 12 Democrats cosponsor bill to stabilize state insurance markets in 2018, 2019

U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a member of the Senate Health Committee, today joined a group of 24 senators – 12 Republicans and 12 Democrats led by Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) – who support bipartisan legislation to help stabilize premiums and access to insurance in individual health insurance markets.

“This legislation would help stabilize the markets while maintaining protections for people with preexisting conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, and cancer,” said Senator Collins. “The bipartisan agreement will prevent premiums from going up by an average of 20 percent, preserve subsidies that help very low-income people afford their out-of-pocket costs, dissuade more insurers from fleeing the market, and provide more flexibility for states to experiment and innovate. I applaud Senators Alexander and Murray for their hard work as well as their ability to set aside their differences to find a bipartisan compromise. It is critical that this legislation be passed quickly so that it can have a positive impact on insurance rates this year and prevent chaos in the market.”

Senators Alexander and Murray said, “We have reached an agreement on bipartisan legislation that will extend cost-sharing reduction payments during 2018 and 2019, protect consumers facing higher premiums this year, and give states meaningful flexibility to create greater choices among health insurance policies in the individual health insurance market.”

“The goal of this bipartisan legislation is to stabilize and then lower the cost of health insurance premiums and ensure that Americans are able to purchase health insurance in the individual health insurance market. This legislation is based upon witness testimony from four bipartisan hearings that the Senate Health Committee held last month.”

In addition to Senator Collins, Senators Alexander and Murray’s bill was cosponsored by Republican Senators Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), and Democratic Senators Angus King (I-Maine), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.)

The bill language is here. A section-by-section summary is here.