KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Push To Defund Health Law Triggering Fault Lines Among Republicans

The effort is gaining momentum among tea-party supporters and their Capitol Hill advocates, but some moderate GOP senators are taking a very different view.

The Wall Street Journal: Tea Party Pushes To Defund Obama's Health Care Law
A drive to cut off funding for President Barack Obama's health care law is gathering momentum among tea-party activists and their allies on Capitol Hill, but Republicans in Congress are divided over how hard to push the issue. House GOP leaders are planning to make opposition to the health care law a centerpiece of the party's message when they return to their districts for the August recess (Hook and King, 7/30).

Reuters: Senate Republicans Feud Over Defunding 'Obamacare'
A nasty, name-calling spat between Tea Party conservatives and older, more moderate Republican senators is playing out in public this week, fueling a battle over the best way to kill President Barack Obama's landmark health care law (Lawder and Cowan, 7/30).

Politico: John Boehner On Shutdown: Don't Go There
Speaker John Boehner will use a private party meeting Wednesday to lay out a new strategy to chip away at Obamacare, brushing back at House and Senate conservatives who have urged a government shutdown if the law is funded. Boehner (R-Ohio) will give a presentation saying that the House Republican leadership supports continuous votes to build "on the successful, targeted strikes against the law that took place in the House this month and resulted in significant Democratic defections, chipping away at the legislative coalition that keeps the president's health care law on the books," a GOP leadership aide said on Tuesday evening (Sherman, 7/30).

The Hill: McConnell Mum On Obamacare Shutdown Threat
Key players within the GOP are beginning to pick sides in the conflict over forcing a government shutdown to defund Obamacare. The two big exceptions -- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) -- are no surprise (Baker and Viebeck, 7/30).

Politico: Ted Cruz Taunts Fellow Republicans In Obamacare Fight
Ted Cruz is taking his hardball tactics to a whole new level. The Texas freshman senator and his senior aides are unleashing a barrage of attacks on their fellow Republicans for refusing to support their plan to choke off Obamacare as a condition for funding the government. Cruz's chief of staff is lambasting fellow conservatives like Oklahoma's Tom Coburn for serving in the "surrender caucus." His top political strategist has compared Mitch McConnell to Barack Obama. And the senator himself has said many Republicans are "scared" to wage this fight (Raju and Everett, 7/31).

Politico: Ted Cruz: Shutdown Over Obamacare Wouldn't Be 'Disaster' For GOP
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz on Tuesday downplayed the long-term consequences of a government shutdown on the Republican Party, calling for a grassroots mobilization to pressure lawmakers to defund the Affordable Care Act. "I think the received wisdom that '95 was a disaster is completely wrong. I think it was important that Republicans stood for principle and it actually led to some serious solutions to the fiscal and economic challenges facing this country," Cruz said at an event hosted by the Heritage Foundation (Delreal, 7/30).

In the background, more talk of a "grand bargain" comes from the White House in an attempt to appeal to some House and Senate Republicans --

Los Angeles Times: Obama Offers New 'Grand Bargain' Of Corporate Tax Cuts And Jobs
President Obama on Tuesday offered what he billed as a new "grand bargain" proposal that would combine a cut in corporate tax rates sought by many Republicans with a jobs-creating program that would spend more money on roads and bridges around the country. … White House officials, however, have suggested they think the new idea might appeal to at least some moderate Republicans in the Senate, although they have less hope in the Republican-controlled House. In unveiling the new strategy at an Amazon distribution center, Obama tacitly acknowledged what lawmakers had assumed for months -- that the old "grand bargain" talks were dead. Those negotiations, aimed at reducing the long-term deficit by combining lower spending on Medicare and Social Security with tax increases, dragged on for months but failed to produce a plan both sides could support (Parsons, 7/30).

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