Rep. Esty, Problem Solvers Caucus to Leadership: “The Time to Act is Now”
WASHINGTON, D.C. –Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) joined her colleagues on the House Problem Solvers Caucus in sending a letter to Democratic and Republican Party leaders regarding the future of federal health care policies and initiatives.
The letter reiterated the Caucus’s desire to see Congress consider and adopt bipartisan, common sense health care solutions to lower premiums and stabilize the health insurance marketplace for American families and businesses.
“Bipartisan progress on health care is possible, but to get there, we need to stop obsessing over political ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ and start talking about how to fix things. My colleagues and I are committed to fixing the problems in our health care system in a bipartisan way. Through common sense health care proposals, we can make better care more affordable and accessible for all. We must work across the aisle to find consensus and real solutions that benefit working families, and address ever escalating costs. I hope our proposals can be the starting point for the kind of progress the American people deserve, through honesty and transparency,” Esty said.
The House Problem Solvers Caucus, of which Esty is a member, is a group of about 40 representatives, split roughly evenly between Democrats and Republicans, who are committed to finding bipartisan solutions to the major challenges facing the nation. The principles the caucus released yesterday are ideas that caucus members believe merit further exploration and public feedback, and are intended to set the stage for an open and bipartisan process aimed at lowering costs, restoring stability to the marketplace, and expanding options for care.
The text of the letter can be found below:
September 27, 2017
Dear Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leader Schumer, Speaker Ryan and Minority Leader Pelosi,
Earlier this summer, the forty-three Members of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus proposed common sense health care principles to lower premiums and stabilize the health insurance marketplace for American families and businesses.
Our bipartisan set of principles included the following proposed solutions: ensuring mandatory funding for cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments to help more households participate in the individual market, creating a dedicated stability fund that states can use to reduce premiums and limit losses for providing coverage, adjusting the employer mandate to reduce regulatory burdens on smaller employers, repealing the medical device tax, and providing technical changes and clear guidelines for states that want to innovate on the exchange (Section 1332 waivers) or enter into regional compacts (Section 1333 waivers) to improve coverage and create more options for consumers. And importantly, together we committed to offset these investments and be fiscally responsible.
When we work across the aisle and govern together, Democrats and Republicans alike can find consensus on real solutions for the American people. We won’t all get everything we want, but we can work together to reduce health care costs, especially to address the looming deadlines that will dramatically impact next year’s premiums. We can’t wait any longer. The time to act is now.
Over the last month, we were encouraged by the process and the progress of Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Murray in the Senate HELP Committee to develop bipartisan legislation. Their bipartisan approach included hearings and input from stakeholders across the country, and a return to regular order. It is our understanding Senators made significant progress toward developing legislation that would signal stability and lead to affordability for American consumers and businesses. In the Senate and in the House, we know there is room for agreement with a number of additional health care issues receiving bipartisan support, including plans to address the health insurance tax.
As a Caucus, we recognize that American lives are depending upon Democrats and Republicans to work together to accomplish health care reforms. Earlier this month, we stood with Governors from both parties on Capitol Hill to show that we can set aside partisanship to provide relief to the American families, individuals and small businesses suffering in an uncertain marketplace. The Problem Solvers Caucus continues to stand ready to work for the American people and build on the consensus we started. We must strive for bipartisan solutions to stabilize the individual marketplace, provide relief to job-creating small businesses, cut out of pocket costs and improve care for all Americans.
The Problem Solvers Caucus