GOP senators weigh higher health premiums’ possible effect on midterms

Republican senators are confronting a political challenge that is increasingly hard to ignore as they engage with voters during the July Fourth recess: Under their health-care overhaul, average premiums for a midlevel insurance plan would jump by 20% next January.

That means many people who don’t get insurance through work would see their premiums increase just a few months before the midterm elections, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Premiums would fall in later years, in part because less-comprehensive plans would be offered by that time.

This highlights what some Republicans privately concede is a Catch-22 as GOP Senate leaders work to assemble a bill they can bring to the floor when Congress returns to Washington: Both passing a bill and not passing one carry political peril.