Govs. Kasich, Hickenlooper propose bipartisan plan for health care changes

Kasich and Hickenlooper say their plan would keep the individual mandate.

"The current state of our individual market is unsustainable and we can all agree this is a problem that needs to be fixed," the letter states. "Continuing uncertainty about the direction of federal policy is driving up premiums, eliminating competition and leaving consumers with fewer choices."

The two governors said they have been working for months on a plan they hope will appeal to both sides of the aisle.

Kasich, a Republican, and Hickenlooper, a Democrat, call for keeping the individual health insurance mandate as a way to keep healthy people enrolled in coverage.

Their plan also asks Congress to provide more insurance choices in underserved counties. Just last week a small county in Ohio became the latest in the country to have only one insurance provider on the marketplace, a problem facing many counties across the country.

The two governors also plan to ask Congress to provide CSR payment funding through 2019 to encourage carriers to stay in the market and give Americans peace of mind that they can afford their insurance.

This afternoon at a press conference, Hickenlooper said there is no perfect solution, but he hopes their proposal will pave the way for compromise in Congress.

"In many cases, Governor Kasich’s staff and my staff had to put aside personal preferences to tackle this issue," said Hickenlooper. "Is this going to fix all that’s broken in our system? No. But it’s taking a big bite out of a very large problem."

"This is just a first step, but it’s a significant step because it shows us that we can make steps across party lines," he continued.

On Sept 6 and 7 the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will hear proposals from governors -- including Hickenlooper -- and health insurance providers on how they would fix the individual markets. The two governors hope Congress will adopt their proposals.