MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Senator Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., announced Tuesday they reached a deal to resume federal payments to health insurers that President Donald Trump had previously stopped. It was a plan that President Trump spoke favorably about initially, but later reversed course.
According to Sen. Alexander, President Trump called him Wednesday in an effort to be "encouraging" as he continues to review the deal.
The deal would shore up the Affordable Health Care Act insurance markets for two years as Congress continues work on a new way to replace Obamacare. It would also allow states to offer more health insurance options, including some that may not include all of Obamacare's mandated coverage.
"I'm grateful for the president's encouragement. He's very hands-on with this," Sen. Alexander said. "I agree with him. We don't want to bail out insurance companies, which is why we're going to have the strongest possible language in this agreement that says the benefits go to the people, not the insurance companies."
Sen. Alexander expects the bipartisan deal will pass by the end of the year.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)