Senate GOP health plan said to add billions to stabilize markets

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(Bloomberg) — Senate Republicans’ proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act would provide $50 billion over four years to stabilize insurance exchanges in addition to cost-sharing subsidy payments through 2019, according to a person familiar with the plan.

The plan, to be released Thursday after a private Senate GOP meeting, includes $15 billion a year in market-stabilizing funds over the next two years and $10 billion a year in 2020 and 2021, the person said.

It also would provide $62 billion allocated over eight years to a state innovation fund, which can be used for coverage for high-risk patients, reinsurance and other items. The draft bill would phase out Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid over three years, starting in 2021.

The plan has been drafted in secret by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and a group of aides, and most Republicans in the chamber are seeing it for the first time Thursday. There’s no indication the GOP has enough support for it to pass in a vote that could come as early as next week.

Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski said Thursday she can’t say how long it will take her to decide whether the measure is something she can support.

"I have no idea if this is a three-page bill or a 3,000-page bill," she said before the meeting

Bloomberg News