The AHA and seven other national organizations today urged Congress to include in the omnibus appropriations bill it must act on by March 23 bipartisan legislation they say would reduce premiums, improve affordability and improve the individual health insurance market. Specifically, the groups urged Congress to establish a premium reduction/reinsurance program to help cover the costs of people with significant health care needs, and provide multi-year funding for cost-sharing reduction benefits. “According to independent analyses by Avalere Health and Oliver Wyman, enacting both legislative provisions could lower premiums by up to 27% in 2019 and increase enrollment and expand coverage to as many as 1.7 million Americans,” the groups wrote. “In addition, this legislation will help physicians and hospitals better serve the health care needs of patients in their community and lower costs for businesses that provide coverage to their employees.” In addition to AHA, the letter’s signers include America’s Health Insurance Plans, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Benefits Council, American Medical Association, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Federation of American Hospitals and U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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