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Charlie Dent Says Republicans Are Trying To Stabilize The Insurance Market

They're removing some consumer-friendly features along the way.
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On CNN's New Day, correspondent John Avlon spoke to Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) about Trump's statement on withholding the subsidies to insurance companies. "Some $7 billion that goes to insurance companies so that they can provide insurance to low-income Americans, people just above the poverty line. Do you think it would be a good idea to withhold that money?"

Dent said no.

"Withholding that money would ultimately hurt a lot of people making between 150, 200% of the poverty level trying to afford insurance," he said.

"That would be a mistake. Just this morning, a group of members of Congress, the Problem Solvers caucus, just released a bipartisan plan. Forty-three Republicans and Democrats released a plan on how to move forward with a change to the health care system.

"Part of that proposal is to stabilize the individual market by ensuring that the cost-sharing reduction payments are going to be brought under the appropriations process, create a stability fund. We make reforms to the employer mandate, repeal the medical device tax and allow states to innovate in regional groups with respect to the plans. It was just released a few moments ago."

Avlon said the bipartisan approach is what voters wanted all along.

"What does it do to your efforts when you have the president writing the types of things that he is, suggesting to withhold this money, which you say will hurt low-income Americans, or threatening your own health insurance as a member of Congress also. What does that do to the discussion?" he said.

"I believe the president wants a health care bill on his desk. I think he has been a little less concerned about the specifics. It's important for us to let us do our work in Congress," Dent said.

"We have this bipartisan proposal. It's a good one. It's a good start. It's incremental. We republicans get some things, real relief on the employer mandate, changing the threshold from 50 to 500 employees, and returning back to a 40-hour workweek, we repeal the medical device tax. Democrats get things, too, on the cost-reduction sharing payments.

"This is progress. There are a lot of parallel efforts in the House and the Senate on bipartisan reform. The mistake Democrats made with Obamacare, they muscled the law through on a partisan basis. We shouldn't make the same mistake as Republicans. We have an opportunity to strike right now."

Dent, a fairly moderate Republican who voted against the House bill, does an interesting rewrite of history here. After all, over a hundred Republican amendments were included in the final bill, and Democrats did drop the public option.

Republicans like Sen. Chuck Grassley on the Senate Finance Committee were very involved in the discusssions, too.

But the Koch brothers pulled their strings, and Obamacare became the dangerous face of socialism by the time they got done. Despite Democratic efforts, Republicans refused to vote for the final bill.

Just a reminder, Charlie.

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