Alexander, the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, applied a defibrillator to the fight by saying, in a statement, that he wants to continue to work with Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., on a modest measure to keep the individual health market going in 2018 and 2019.
(Related: Republicans Put Off Graham-Cassidy Vote)
Sens Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Bill Cassidy, R-La., said Tuesday, at a press conference, that they are still trying to pass their much broader Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson ACA overhaul proposal but lack the votes to do so this week.
“I would have voted for the Graham-Cassidy proposal, because it meant more money and state decision-making for Tennessee, and would have helped control the federal debt,” Alexander said in a statement. “But Graham-Cassidy primarily would have affected 2020 and beyond. I’m still concerned about the next two years, and Congress has an opportunity to slow down premium increases in 2018, begin to lower them in 2019, and do our best to make sure there are no counties where people have zero options to buy health insurance.”
The federal fiscal year ends Saturday.