WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – After the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress failed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act most members of the party moved on to other areas of health care reform, like ending surprise medical bills and lowering the cost of prescription drugs.
But Arkansas Congressman Bruce Westerman is taking another crack at overhauling Obamacare.
“People want the choices. They want value for what they’re paying for. That’s why we call it the Fair Care Act,” says Westerman.
He told a crowd at the American Enterprise Institute Tuesday that it’s possible to cover more people at a lower cost and cover those with preexisting conditions.
His proposal would expand the Obamacare exchanges where people buy private health insurance, “The idea is to grow the individual marketplace and make it what that marketplace was originally intended to do.”
To help lower the cost of premiums Westerman’s legislation would set aside funding from insurers and the government to cover the costs of high-risk individuals.
It would also give states the option to hold open enrollment periods less frequently to lock in lower premiums for longer periods of time.
“We can take the good ideas and get bipartisan support,” says Westerman, “If we want the best for health care in our country, that’s the approach we have to take.”
Westerman will soon file an update to his legislation but admits it’s not likely Congress will make any moves on health care until after the 2020 elections.
Health care helped Democrats take control of the House in 2018 and it will continue to be a top issue for voters in 2020.
But unlike the midterms the debates this year haven’t revolved around protecting Obamacare but overhauling the entire health system.