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Warner, Kaine Join Shaheen To Introduce Additional Legislation To Stabilize Health Care Maketplace

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Mark Warner, a member of the Senate Budget, Finance and Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs Committees, and Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Budget and Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committees (both D-VA), joined U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and 18 of their colleagues to introduce the Marketplace Certainty Act to help stabilize the health care marketplace by permanently appropriating the cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) included in the Affordable Care Act and making CSRs available to more Americans.

Cost-sharing reductions are a discount available on the individual marketplace that lowers the amount families have to pay for deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. Warner and Kaine have criticized the Trump Administration for playing politics with the American health care system, creating uncertainty and destabilizing the individual marketplace with actions like threatening to withhold these payments, which were used by over 6 million Americans including 237,000 Virginians in 2016.  

"Last month, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners told the Administration that uncertainty around Cost-Sharing Reduction Payments could lead to a 15 to 20 percent premium rate increase for consumers. Despite that, the Trump Administration continues to destabilize the markets by refusing to permanently approve these payments that lower consumers' deductibles and co-pays. This is one action Congress can take now to shore up the individual markets and help stabilize health care costs," said Warner. "Instead of barreling forward with an ill-advised partisan effort that will result in millions more Americans becoming uninsured, I hope our Republican colleagues can return to Washington after the Fourth of July prepared to work with Democrats on commonsense fixes like this one to lower costs and improve the Affordable Care Act."

“Passing the Marketplace Certainty Act would be an important step to help stabilize the health care marketplace,” Kaine said. “Now is the time for Republicans to drop their mean health care bill and work with us on fixes like this that would lower costs like deductibles and co-pays for Virginians and improve health care in this country.”

Earlier this month, Kaine and Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) introduced The Individual Health Insurance Marketplace Improvement Act, co-sponsored by Warner, to help stabilize the individual health care marketplace and lower premiums. The bill would provide certainty in the marketplace by creating a permanent reinsurance program for the individual health insurance market, similar to the successful programs used to lower premiums and spur competition in the Medicare Part D program.

Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Tom Carper (D-DE), Bob Casey (D-PA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Angus King (I-VT), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ed Markey (D-MA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Tom Udall (D-NM), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) are also co-sponsors of the Marketplace Certainty Act.