KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Kimmel’s Emotional Plea For Preexisting Conditions Reflects Debate Over Revised Health Plan

“No parent should ever have to decide if they can afford to save their child’s life," TV show host Jimmy Kimmel said. Protections for people with preexisting conditions are becoming one of the main sticking points with the legislation.

The Wall Street Journal: Jimmy Kimmel’s Tearful Monologue On Son’s Heart Condition Roils Health Debate
Former President Barack Obama, 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer have said Mr. Kimmel’s story shows the ACA and its protections for people with pre-existing conditions should be preserved. Republicans have argued their current bill would maintain such protections and that critics are portraying it in an inaccurate negative light. Former Republican Rep. Joe Walsh, who is now a conservative talk radio host, on Tuesday wrote on Twitter: “Got a big problem with ‘we need gov-run healthcare cuz of my sad story.’” (Hackman, 5/2)

USA Today: Jimmy Kimmel's Son: What Is Tetralogy Of Fallot?
Raise your hand if you had never heard of Tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia before Monday's episode of ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live. Awareness of this serious congenital heart defect got a big bump after the late-night host shared the story of his newborn son's diagnosis and open-heart surgery. (Deerwester, 5/2)

Politico: Obamacare Repeal's Biggest Obstacle? Sick People
Years of Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare might end up failing thanks to a very compelling constituency: the sickest Americans. Democratic activists have turned the health care law's guarantee to cover people with pre-existing conditions into Republicans' Achilles' heel, using the issue to slow and, potentially, even thwart what the GOP hoped would be a quick repeal effort. (Haberkorn, 5/2)

Los Angeles Times: Obamacare 101: Will Sick Americans Still Be Able To Get Insurance Under The House Republican Bill?
As they scramble to get votes to advance legislation to roll back the Affordable Care Act, President Trump and House Republican leaders insist their bill would protect Americans who have preexisting medical conditions. But most healthcare experts and patient advocates dispute this, noting that the House GOP plan would allow states to scrap many protections put in place by Obamacare, as the law is often called. (Levey, 5/2)

The Hill: GOP Bill Hung Up On Pre-Existing Conditions
Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) on Tuesday became the latest House Republican to come out against the ObamaCare repeal-and-replace bill, underlining how the legislation is losing support from lawmakers who fear it could hurt people with pre-existing health conditions.  Some lawmakers expressed doubts that the healthcare bill would come up for a vote this week despite a push from House leaders to get it to the floor before a one-week recess. (Sullivan and Hellmann, 5/2)

Los Angeles Times: As Latest Obamacare Repeal Effort Fades, Republicans Wonder What Happened
“They’re scared,” said Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.), whose district voted for President Trump. “[They] feel like they’re about to lose it and they’re going to die. And if we cannot explain to people that is not going to happen, then it’s going to be very difficult to ever bring a bill to the floor.” Many lawmakers expressed frustration at having to figure out on their own how the recent changes to the bill would affect consumers. (Mascaro, Levey and Wire, 5/3)

The New York Times: Patients Who Rely On Obamacare Protections Are Worried
Fran Cannon Slayton, a children’s book author with brain cancer, has summoned a hopeful energy since her diagnosis last year. But she is near despair about the resurfaced Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, which the White House and Republicans are pushing for a vote as soon as this week. “I don’t think people really understand how serious this is,” said Ms. Slayton, 50, of Charlottesville, Va. (Goodnough and Abelson, 5/2)

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