Lamar Alexander, Patty Murray forge compromise — yes, compromise — in Washington

Sen. Patty Murray and Sen. Lamar Alexander

*Two senators have reached a bipartisan deal to provide funding for critical subsidies to health insurers that Donald Trump announced last week he would cut off, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) said Tuesday.

The plan agreed to by Alexander and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) is intended to stabilize health insurance markets under Obamacare, reports the New York Times.

The subsidies, known as cost-sharing reductions, lower out-of-pocket costs for low-income consumers. As one part of the deal, the subsidies would be funded for two years, a step that would provide at least short-term certainty to insurers.

Alexander said that in addition to funding the payments to insurers, the deal would also give states “more flexibility in the variety of choices they can give to consumers,” which should please Republican lawmakers eager to give states more say over health care.

“This takes care of the next two years,” Alexander said. “After that, we can have a full-fledged debate on where we go long-term on health care.”

It remains to be seen whether ultra right-leaning Republicans will get on board with the deal, and whether the House will embrace it. Some Republicans have said they do not wish to provide what they describe as a bailout to insurers.