Bipartisan Hearings Aim to Avoid Rising Health Care Costs

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WASHINGTON — A series of bipartisan hearings began Sept. 6 aimed at addressing healthcare costs for millions of Americans, who could see premiums rise in the coming months if lawmakers can’t find a fix. 

Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander said he called the hearings to host a bipartisan solution to a potential crisis, before it has time to take hold. 

“Our goal is a small step, and so many Americans will be hurt if we fail,” Alexander said. 

About 18 million people get their health insurance on individual markets created under the Affordable Care Act. 

After Congress failed to pass new health care legislation that would have rolled back the Affordable Care Act, Trump threatened to end government payments to insurance companies, which help to keep premiums low. 

That could send health costs for those in the marketplace skyrocketing. 

“My goal is to get a result on a small, bipartisan and balanced stabilization bill,” Alexander said. 

Alexander is aiming for a compromise that both parties and the president can agree on by extending insurance subsidies while giving states more opportunities to craft health care regulations. 

Members of the committee said they hope to have the policy in place before insurance companies set rates later in September. 

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