Dems to GOP: Help us fix ObamaCare

“There are things we can do and need to do to address restoring competition in these exchanges, and my hope is when we’re through the elections and past the elections, we’ll do those,” Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) said.

Carper pointed, for example, to improving the health law’s “three Rs,” which refer to programs that were created to shield insurers from high costs and losses. Republicans have attacked these programs as a “bailout” of insurers and have restricted taxpayer money from being used on them, putting a strain on insurer finances.

Another potential change to the law would be to tighten the rules for special signup periods.

Insurers complain people are signing up only after they get sick. While Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell is trying to address that issue, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said her efforts might not be enough.

“There’s going to be ups and downs in these marketplaces,” Murphy said. “I think the secretary’s got some ability to try to smooth out these edges, and there are other things that ultimately we might want to talk about legislatively. She’s only got so much ability, but there’s clearly people getting into these exchanges mid-enrollment period that shouldn’t be, and that’s one of the things that’s upsetting some of the actuarial data.”