KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Adding Work Requirements For Medicaid Helps Sway Some Reluctant Republicans

President Donald Trump met with members of the Republican Study Committee on Friday to discuss changes they wanted to see made to the American Health Care Act before they could vote for it.

The New York Times: States Could Make Work A Medicaid Requirement Under G.O.P. Deal
President Trump and conservative lawmakers in the House agreed Friday to significant changes to Medicaid that could impose work requirements on able-bodied Medicaid beneficiaries in some states and limit federal funds for the program, as Republican leaders tried to rally balking lawmakers behind legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act. “I want everyone to know, I’m 100 percent behind this,” Mr. Trump said at the White House, where he met with House members in the conservative Republican Study Committee. (Kaplan and Pear, 3/17)

CNN: What's Likely To Change In The GOP Bill To Repeal Obamacare
Also, the legislation would give states the option to receive federal Medicaid funding as a block grant. The current legislation calls for giving states a set amount of money per enrollee, known as a per capita cap system. Both would be a major change from the current way Medicaid is funded, which is open-ended federal support tied to state spending on the program. (Luhby, 3/19)

Roll Call: Key Conservatives Come Around On GOP Health Plan
All but one of the 17 RSC Steering Committee members (not counting four ex-officio members) have committed to voting yes on the bill, eight or nine of whom had shifted from a no or leaning no because of the Medicaid changes, RSC Chairman Mark Walker told reporters at the Capitol. (Bennett and McPherson, 3/17)

The Washington Post: Republicans Threaten To Deny Poor People Medical Care If They Aren’t Working
Many forms of public assistance, including food stamps, require recipients to work, look for work, volunteer or participate in vocational training. The work requirements vary from one program to the next and have varying requirements vary by the program and traits of the recipients, such as their ages and whether they have children. Yet when it comes to health insurance, such requirements would be nearly impossible to enforce, conservative and independent experts on the Medicaid program said Friday. (Ehrenfreund, 3/18)

The Washington Post: Trio Of GOP Proposals Would Overhaul Medicaid Dramatically, Starting With Job Requirement
Its Medicaid recommendations further highlighted the ideological cross-pressures on Ryan — and the Trump administration — in forging a set of Republican health policies that might pass both the House and the Senate. While the committee is trying to nudge the program toward the right, moderate GOP governors and senators are fighting to ward off the loss of millions of dollars in federal aid to the 31 states, plus the District of Columbia, that expanded their Medicaid programs. (Goldstein and Eilperin, 3/17)

Meanwhile, one senators says it's not Medicaid that's the problem —

The Hill: Cotton: Private Insurance Market Provision A Big Problem In GOP Healthcare Proposal
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) indicated Sunday the private insurance market provisions in the current GOP healthcare proposal is a larger problem than Medicaid expansion. Cotton told host Jake Tapper on CNN's "State of the Union" that the Medicaid expansion provided a partial solution to health insurance coverage, but the private insurance market would hurt everyday Americans. (Beavers, 3/19)

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