■ Continues payments for two years to insurers for reducing out-of-pocket such as deductibles for lower-income consumers. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates the government will spend around $20 billion on the cost-sharing reductions over the next two years. President Trump blocked the payments last week.
■ Provides $106 million in grants to states to pay for outreach and enrollment programs for encouraging people to sign up for health care coverage. Trump cut spending for the programs. The money comes from already collected taxes.
■ Lets states get federal waivers from some requirements under the Obama’s health care law if their proposed programs are of ‘‘comparable affordability’’ for consumers to existing programs. That gives states more flexibility than existing requirement that replacement must be ‘‘at least as affordable’’ as current one. Language protects low-income populations and people with serious health conditions.
■ Increases flexibility by requiring states’ proposed changes to not increase federal deficit over the multiyear life of waivers, not each individual year.
■ Shortens from 180 days to 90 days the time the federal government has to review state waiver applications. Speeds reviews for states seeking same changes as other states and for emergencies.
■ Prevents states from getting waivers from covering services required by health law, or from the statute’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
■ Lets people of any age buy some low-premium, high-deductible catastrophic plans. Obama’s statute limits those policies to people under 30 and those who are older who qualify due to economic hardship.
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