Aug 22, 10:36 AM EDT

Senate panel plans 2 hearings on girding health insurance



WASHINGTON (AP) -- Leaders of the Senate health committee say they are scheduling two hearings early next month on how the nation's individual health insurance marketplaces can be stabilized.

The two sessions are part of what will be a tricky effort to craft a bipartisan but limited bill to curb rising premiums in those marketplaces, partly by temporarily continuing some federal payments to insurers. It comes after the Republican push to repeal and replace much of President Barack Obama's health care law was rejected in the GOP-controlled Senate.

A Sept. 6 hearing will feature state insurance commissioners. The next day's witnesses will be governors. Both groups will be bipartisan, but aides declined to provide names.

Tennessee Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander chairs the committee. The top Democratic is Sen. Patty Murray of Washington state.

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