The Bipartisan Health Care Stabilization Act of 2017 would reduce the deficit by $3.8 billion by 2027, according to an estimate today from the Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation. CBO said the bill, which Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) last week introduced with 11 Republican and 11 Democrat cosponsors, would not substantially change the number of people with health insurance coverage. The bill would provide short-term funding for the cost-sharing reductions; expand access to lower-cost, catastrophic health plans; give states additional flexibility to use 1332 waivers; provide states with outreach and education funding; and direct the Department of Health and Human Services to issue regulations facilitating the sale of insurance products across state lines. The White House announced earlier this month that it will stop making CSR payments to health insurers. CBO in August estimated that premiums for silver-level plans would be 20% higher in 2018 and 25% higher in 2026 if the CSR payments were to end. In that report, CBO also estimated not funding the CSRs would increase the federal deficit by $194 billion from 2018 through 2026. Yesterday, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) announced an agreement on a separate proposal that would fund CSRs for two years and eliminate temporarily certain Affordable Care Act mandates.

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