KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

House GOP Plans Vote Today On Abortion Bill

The measure, which would ban abortions after 22 weeks of pregnancy, has drawn a White House veto threat. In other Capitol Hill news, health care issues continue to be part of the immigration reform debate and some lawmakers have asked for a review of federal grants and programs designed to assist the severely mentally ill.

The New York Times: G.O.P. Pushes New Abortion Limits To Appease Vocal Base
After Republicans lost the presidential election and seats in both the House and the Senate last year, many in the party offered a stern admonishment: If we want to broaden our appeal, steer clear of divisive social and cultural issues. Yet after the high-profile murder trial of an abortion doctor in Philadelphia this spring, many Republicans in Washington and in state capitals across the country seem eager to reopen the emotional fight over a woman's right to end a pregnancy. Their efforts will move to the forefront on Tuesday when House Republicans plan to bring to the floor a measure that would prohibit the procedure after 22 weeks of pregnancy — the most restrictive abortion bill to come to a vote in either chamber in a decade (Peters, 6/17).

The Hill: Obama Threatens To Veto GOP Abortion Ban
The White House threatened to veto a GOP ban on late-term abortions that is expected to pass the House on Tuesday. In a Statement of Administration Policy, President Obama said the bill from Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) is an "assault on a woman's right to choose" (Viebeck, 6/17).

Roll Call: Health Care And Immigration: Uncomfortable Bedfellows
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus was emphatic that illegal immigrants should be included when the landmark health care bill was being negotiated in 2009. But the White House and Democratic leaders said it was not the right time and health care would be taken care of when immigration was overhauled. Now, as both chambers get serious about approving legislation that could enable about 11 million illegal immigrants to become citizens, Hispanic lawmakers are again being told that now is not the time. Barring a dramatic change of course, neither the bipartisan Senate bill nor a bipartisan House measure that’s now being crafted would help millions of uninsured, illegal immigrants get health insurance (Bunis, 6/17).

The Hill: Lawmakers Request Review Of Mental Health Programs
House members probing U.S. mental healthcare in light of the Newtown, Conn., shooting have asked government investigators to review federal grants and programs designed to assist the severely mentally ill. Reps. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) and Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), who lead the Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on Friday to report back with a special study on federal investments in mental health (Viebeck, 6/17).

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