KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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A House Divided: GOP’s Two Leaders Approach 2016 With Starkly Different Mindsets

While Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., wants to dream big on health care repeal, tax reform and other issues, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's, R-Ky., plans are not quite as ambitious. In other news from Capitol Hill, according to a Senate committee report, the Food and Drug Administration took 17 months to notify anyone about infected scopes and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., faces criticism over her remarks on abortion.

The New York Times: Republicans Lead Congress With Two Distinct Agendas
While [Speaker Paul Ryan and Sen. Mitch McConnell] are set to stand together Thursday at a retreat for congressional Republicans in Baltimore and cheerfully announce their unity against President Obama in his final year in office, they are operating on starkly different political planets in this election year, with little harmony in their legislative agenda. Mr. Ryan wants to finally offer a Republican alternative to Mr. Obama’s signature health care law. Mr. McConnell does not. Mr. Ryan would like to see his chamber explore authorizing military force against the Islamic State. Mr. McConnell would not. Mr. Ryan loves tax reform. Mr. McConnell loves it too — when there is a Republican in the White House to sign it. (Steinhauer, 1/13)

The Wall Street Journal: FDA Took 17 Months To Notify Doctors On Scopes’ ‘Superbug’ Dangers
The Food and Drug Administration took 17 months to notify doctors and the public of “superbug” infection dangers from certain scopes used in gastrointestinal procedures in hospitals, according to a report by Senate Democrats released Wednesday. The document said that in Sept. 2013, the staff at a Seattle hospital had “traced a cluster of antibiotic-resistant infections to a medical device” called a duodenoscope, but that it wasn’t until early 2015 that the FDA sent out a public warning. (Burton, 1/13)

The Associated Press: Abortion-Rights Group Criticizes Pelosi Over Comments
A major abortion-rights group on Wednesday criticized House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi over what it called "disappointing and ill-advised" remarks, the second public rift in a year with a lawmaker such organizations have long considered one of their staunchest congressional allies. In an interview published Wednesday in which the California Democrat defended a woman's right to abortion, Pelosi said, "I don't believe in abortion on demand." (1/13)

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