Health insurance subsidies to wait until new year

Associated Press • Dec 20, 2017 at 3:56 PM

WASHINGTON — Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee are withdrawing their insistence on adding health insurance subsidies for the poor to a year-end spending bill.

They say Congress will be able to pass only a short-term agreement to avoid a government shutdown, and that their proposal will have to wait until January when the Senate will consider a larger spending bill.

The proposal, which was a demand by Collins, is designed to stabilize health insurance markets after the repeal of the mandate that individuals purchase insurance.

Collins said House Speaker Paul Ryan told her Wednesday that the House remains committed to high-risk pools and other reinsurance mechanisms similar to the bipartisan legislation she’s introduced. He said that by waiting until January more funding will be available.

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