[JURIST] Ohio Governor John Kasich [official website], Republican, and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper [official website], Democrat, sent a letter [text] to Congress Thursday proposing a plan to preserve the Affordable Care Act (ACA) [text, PDF] to stabilize the healthcare market [AP report]. The governors suggest preservation of the ACA's unpopular individual mandate provision, noting that it may be the "most important incentive for healthy people to enroll in coverage." Young, healthy people in the healthcare market lowers overall healthcare insurance prices. The letter explains that this plan is temporary but necessary to fix the current status of the market and allow Congress to construct a plan to replace the ACA. The six other governors who endorsed this letter to Congress include, Republican Governor Brian Sandoval of Nevada; Democratic Governors Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania, John Bel Edwards of Louisiana, Steve Bullock of Montana and Terry McAuliffe of Virginia; and Alaska Governor Bill Walker.
The plan comes in response to failed congressional efforts during this presidential term to replace the ACA and reform healthcare. In July the Senate proposed [JURIST report] a new bill that will allow insurance companies already providing policies under the ACA to offer cheaper plans with limited coverage options and contains provisions for providing states with funding for treating opiod addiction. The bill also included a provision requiring providers to give their customers maternity and newborn care, mental health services, prescription drug coverage, and hospitalization and emergency room coverage. In June Senate Republicans unveiled their version of a health care bill proposing numerous changes to the ACA, including repeal of the the tax increases it enforced to pay for itself and Medicaid [official website], essentially giving tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans.