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Colorado Lawmakers Move To Stabilize Health Insurance Market

DENVER (CBS4) – Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle continue their work on health care.

The Senate Health Committee will hold hearings next month, when lawmakers return from break, with the goal of stabilizing the individual health insurance market.

(credit: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

In Colorado, more than a dozen counties have only one insurer left from which they can choose.

President Donald Trump threatened to withhold payments that help low-income Americans afford insurance on the individual market, as well as cost sharing for Congress' insurance.

Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers say that move would cause the market to collapse.

"He's being petulant is what he's doing," Rep. Diana DeGette, a Democrat who represents Colorado's 1st Congressional District, told CBS4's Shaun Boyd. "He's mad because Congress didn't pass a law, so he's threatening to punish the American people for that."

Diana DeGette interview
(credit: CBS)

"The president's strategy is to show the worst-case scenario to motivate people to salvage a bad health insurance bill," said Rep. Ken Buck, a Republican who represents Colorado's 4th Congressional District. "If Congress doesn't act, the administration has no choice but to change the law through regulation."

Ken Buck
(credit: CBS)

Buck says he opposes the president making changes to the law unilaterally. He and DeGette both say that Congress must hold hearings.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers, including Rep. Mike Coffman, a Republican who represents Colorado's 6th Congressional District, have signed on to some reforms. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has made it clear he wants to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

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