Suozzi, Problem Solvers Caucus Releases First Bipartisan Proposal to Make Health Care System Work Better for Americans
Today, Congressman Tom Suozzi (D -- Long Island, Queens), as Vice-Chair of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, announced that they have released a bold new bipartisan proposal to stabilize the individual health care market. If passed, this plan, the first bipartisan plan that has been proposed, would help stabilize the individual market by trying to reduce premiums, among other things. The caucus, made up of 22 Democrats and 22 Republicans, agreed on the plan over the weekend.
"Americans are desperate for Democrats and Republicans to work together to try and tackle the challenges our country faces. The Problem Solvers Caucus, by proposing this major bipartisan first step, is like an oasis in a desert of dysfunction. We still have much more to do with health care and other issues and we hope our colleagues will join our efforts in this spirit of goodwill and compromise for the common good.
"I've been saying from day one that I came to Congress to try and get things done. I've made it my life's work to not just talk about solving problems, but actually bring people together and come up with solutions that will impact people's lives. This plan does exactly that.
“By shoring up the individual marketplace and offering Americans much-needed relief, the Problem Solvers’ plan will keep the U.S. health care system stabilized and allow it to prosper.
“I'm proud of this bipartisan proposal and will be working hard to convince both Republicans and Democrats that this is the best plan right now for improving our nation's health care system," said Congressman Suozzi.
The Problem Solvers Caucus’ proposal calls for the following:
- Bring cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments under the Congressional oversight and appropriations process, but ensure they have mandatory funding. CSR payments are an important part of helping households earning between 100% and 250% of the federal poverty level afford to participate in the individual market.
- Create a dedicated stability fund that states can use to reduce premiums and limit losses for providing coverage—especially for those with pre-existing conditions.
- Adjust the employer mandate by raising the threshold on the requirement for employers to provide insurance under the employer mandate to businesses of 500 employees or more. The current employer mandate places a regulatory burden on smaller employers and acts as a disincentive for many small businesses to grow past 50 employees. Additionally, the definition of “full time” under the employer mandate should indicate that a full-time work week is 40 hours.
- Repeal the medical device tax. This tax adds a 2.3% sales tax on medical device supplies. The costs of the tax are passed on to consumers and it should be repealed.
- Provide technical changes and clear guidelines for states that want to innovate on the exchange or enter into regional compacts to improve coverage and create more options for consumers.
"I’m proud that the Problem Solvers Caucus, with members from both sides of the aisle, have shown that we can work in a bipartisan manner to move our country forward,” added Suozzi.