A Senate GOP healthcare working group wrangled Tuesday with how to make sure Obamacare marketplaces do not collapse before next year, Axios reported.
According to Axios, a possible fix could be a short-term stabilization bill, but members of the 13-member working group would prefer the stabilization to be part of a larger bill to replace former President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law.
"I think the primary focus of discussion right now is the fact that these markets are collapsing," Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said, per Axios. "So we're trying to grapple with what can we do short-term to stabilize these markets, to prevent them from collapsing."
Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., told Axios the possible need for "relief" was also discussed at a full GOP conference lunch that followed the working group meeting, where Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, brought up a threat in her state the last major insurer might pull out.
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, insisted there is "no decision made" on whether there will be a short-term bill vs. long-term legislation, but he added: "There is a need to make sure that whatever we do immediately helps to ensure that the insurance market doesn't collapse," Axios reported.
And Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., suggested there could be a first step to "shore up those who wouldn't have any insurance" before they pass the rest of the healthcare bill, Axios reported.
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