Blue Dogs Back the Alexander-Murray Health Care Bill
The fiscally-responsible Blue Dog Coalition has endorsed the Bipartisan Health Care Stabilization Act of 2017, which stabilizes premiums and the individual health insurance market, and improves the Affordable Care Act. The bipartisan health care bill was introduced in the Senate last week by Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has reported that the Alexander-Murray bill would reduce the deficit by $3.8 billion over the next 10 years.
Earlier this year, the Blue Dog Coalition endorsed former Chairman Rep. Kurt Schrader’s Solutions Over Politics, which served as a the foundation for bipartisan health care negotiations in the House and the Senate. By endorsing the Alexander-Murray bill, the Blue Dogs hope to build momentum in the House to create a companion bill to bring to the floor for full consideration.
“Throughout this Congress, we have seen partisan health care proposals fail over and over again, and that’s because major legislation requires bipartisan input in order to be successful,” said Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Communications. “As Blue Dogs, we believe Republicans and Democrats need to work with each other in real, substantive ways in order to get big things done for the American people, and that requires give and take on both sides of the aisle. The Alexander-Murray health care bill embodies this belief. It proves that when both political parties trust each other and work with each other in real ways, we can produce solutions that serve the American people, restore faith in the government, and move our country forward.”
“This endorsement is a call to action in the House to develop a bill that mirrors the Alexander-Murray health care legislation and bring it to the floor for full consideration,” said Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Policy. “The American people are counting on us to move quickly to limit the negative effects of the President’s executive order to cut funding for cost sharing reduction payments. They deserve peace of mind when it comes to health insurance costs and access to good health care. The Blue Dogs have been developing and advocating for bipartisan solutions to stabilize the individual health insurance market and improve the Affordable Care Act, and we will keep working to ensure we can get this legislation passed in the House.”
“I committed the better part of this year engaging with health care experts, insurers, providers and constituents to develop a thoughtful, solutions driven bipartisan plan to stabilize the individual marketplace,” said Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR). “I applaud Senators Alexander and Murray for their leadership in taking the reins to forge a similar bipartisan path forward on health care in the Senate. With all the uncertainty that this administration has created this year, particularly with the recent announcement to end cost sharing reduction payments, we have to work together in Congress to bring much needed stability back to the marketplace for individuals and families across this country. We’re as ready as ever on this side of the Capitol, and look forward to continue that bipartisan effort.”