A bipartisan group of about 40 House members that includes U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker is looking for a quick turnaround on health care reform after the failed effort from Senate Republicans last week.

Members of the Problem Solver’s Caucus, of which Lancaster County’s freshman congressman became a member in early June, offered a five-part plan Monday that aims to stabilize current markets and begin bridging the gap between Republicans and Democrats.

Smucker said in a statement it is critical for Congress to govern instead of letting “health care collapse” — a strategy that President Donald Trump has publicly supported.

Smucker said that option “would be catastrophic and unacceptable.”

“Problem Solvers Caucus is presenting a path forward to stabilize the insurance marketplace, repeal onerous taxes and regulations, and ensure affordable, quality care,” said Smucker, a West Lampeter Township Republican who represents most of Lancaster County with the 16th Congressional District.

Washington-based Politico reported last week that the Problem Solvers Caucus has been meeting quietly over the last month to work on potential solutions.

The idea of a bipartisan effort has been elusive, though some lawmakers vowed to work across the aisle in light of Republicans’ inability to coalesce around a plan. 

The Problem Solvers’ ideas focus on amending President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act rather than the “repeal and replace” method. 

The caucus offered these five solutions for Congress to begin exploring —

  1. Make federal cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers mandatory and under the purview of Congress. These payments help poorer households of up to 250 percent of the federal poverty level pay for out-of-pocket costs in the Affordable Care Act market.
  2. Create a federal “stability fund” for states that would go toward providing coverage, “especially for those with pre-existing conditions.”
  3. Raise the threshold on the mandate for employers to cover workers’ health care. The caucus’ plan would require businesses of at least 500 employees to provide health insurance, up from the current 50-employee mandate. It would also changed the law’s definition of “full-time” work from 30 hours to 40 hours.
  4. Repeal the 2.3 sales tax on medical devices.
  5. Technical changes to the section of the current law that allows states flexibility in improving coverage and creating health care options. The changes would help “states to spur innovation and bring more choice and competition to the market while protecting consumers.”

It's unclear whether the Problem Solvers' proposal will gain traction in Congress, where talks between the House and Senate have been largely uncoordinated so far, according to Politico.

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