Taken from NAHU Newswire, March 21, 2018
Politico (3/20, Diamond) reports that congressional leaders and top Trump Administration officials have “cleared the way for a massive $1.3 trillion spending bill, scrapping several last-minute attempts to tack on controversial policy riders ahead of a Friday deadline to fund the government.” However, a measure to stabilize ACA marketplaces will not be included in the omnibus.
Congressional Quarterly (3/20, McIntire, Subscription Publication) reports that discussions between Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) “about a package meant to lower health insurance premiums next year continued Tuesday, although its inclusion in the fiscal 2018 omnibus spending bill appears to be a long shot.” The article adds that Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) “said it was now or never for a stabilization package.” Asked about the odds of passing the “bill later this year if it is not included in the omnibus, he said ‘zero.’”
WPost: Spending Deal May Be Last Chance To Approve ACA Fixes. In an editorial, the Washington Post (3/20) writes that Congress’ vote this week on its omnibus spending package may be the “last time this year lawmakers make significant policy changes,” meaning that once it passes, “there is little chance lawmakers will approve fixes to Obamacare before the 2019 enrollment season begins.” The Post describes how the bipartisan efforts led by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Patty Murray (D-WA) “hit a snag over abortion funding.” The Post concludes that “the forces of partisanship, always amplified during an election year, have so far overwhelmed their good-faith efforts.”