KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Roe, Gingrey To Lead GOP Doctors Caucus

Meanwhile, The Hill reports that House Republicans are likely to embrace the same Medicare cuts that GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney had assailed President Barack Obama over, but which are likely to be included again in the House Republican budget. And Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., is getting encouragement to head the House Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee.

Modern Healthcare: Roe, Gingrey To Lead House GOP Doc Caucus
Two obstetricians who strongly oppose the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will lead the House's GOP Doctors Caucus after the new 113th Congress is sworn in early next month. Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), an obstetrician who currently serves as vice chairman of the group that includes 21 healthcare providers, will become the group's new co-chairman alongside current co-chairman Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.). Gingrey co-founded the caucus in 2009 with Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), a psychologist who currently serves as the other co-chairman. Roe will succeed Murphy, who announced he will step down from his role to focus on his responsibilities as the new chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee (Zigmond, 12/1).

Politico Pro: Kingston Eyed For Spending Panel Slot
Rep. Jack Kingston could be reunited next year with his Democratic pal Rep. Rosa DeLauro as chairman of the House panel that allocates most government health spending. Kingston (R-Ga.) is a contender to take the spot being vacated by outgoing Rep. Denny Rehberg as head of the House Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee, which is responsible for distributing funding to HHS and other agencies. Kingston, who is currently chairman of the agriculture subcommittee, said Friday that he'll serve wherever Chairman Hal Rogers asks him to go. "It's up to Mr. Rogers," he told reporters. "I'm willing to go wherever I'm sent. You know, just to be considered a cardinal is a good honor, a great honor" (Haberkorn, 11/30).

The Hill: Republicans Ready To Forget Romney And Embrace Rep. Ryan On Medicare
Mitt Romney's Medicare budget might be fading away just as quickly as Romney himself. During the campaign, candidate Romney repeatedly hammered President Obama for cutting $716 billion from Medicare as part of his signature healthcare law. Romney pledged to repeal those cuts in a break from his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). Ryan, the House Budget Committee Chairman, had preserved Obama’s Medicare cuts in two consecutive budget proposals that repealed the rest of the Affordable Care Act. Ryan is now back at work crafting his next budget, and Republicans on his committee say the $716 billion in Medicare cuts will likely survive (Baker and Viebeck, 12/2).

MPR: Walz Pushes Mental Health Bill For Vets
U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., said he will push for the lame-duck Congress to pass legislation restoring benefits to military veterans who were discharged because of personality disorders. Walz introduced the Service Members Mental Health Review Act of 2012 with Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla. The bill directs the military to review the cases of more than 30,000 service members who have been discharged since 2001 because of personality disorders. He said that many of those veterans actually suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury. … He added that the bill would restore the records of soldiers discharged because of personality disorders (Shenoy, 12/2).


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