This excerpt comes from an article originally posted in The New York Times.
The Republican leadership seems to have thrown in the towel on repealing the Affordable Care Act, at least for now. That’s one piece of good news. Here’s another: Two senators of different parties have resumed negotiations that offer a more productive path, one that could preserve the best of Obamacare while offering adjustments that both parties can accept.
The talks between Lamar Alexander, a Republican from Tennessee, and Patty Murray, a Democrat from Washington, might not succeed, of course. Republican leaders scuttled a previous attempt by the two senators because they wanted another shot at repeal, an effort that failed ignominiously last week. Mr. Alexander and Ms. Murray hope to offer Congress a way out of the morass with a modest bill that could help strengthen the A.C.A.’s individual insurance markets, which are used by about 10 million people, without overhauling the whole system in ways that could deprive millions of people of subsidized care.
Mr. Alexander is a Senate veteran and former governor, and Ms. Murray an accomplished legislator. They have worked well together in the past. They could soon reach a deal that would guarantee appropriations for subsidy payments to insurers that President Trump has threatened to stop. The payments compensate insurers for selling policies with lower deductibles to low-income people. If Mr. Trump got rid of them, the government would actually end up spending more money to subsidize premiums, which companies would jack up to make up for the lost revenue.