KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Senate Democrats Ponder ‘Clean’ Debt Limit Bill; GOP Holds Obamacare Ground

Democratic leaders in the Senate are mulling passing a "clean" bill -- one with no other policy changes -- that would increase the nation's debt limit. House Republican leadership continues to refuse any proposal that doesn't strike some parts of the new health law. In the meantime, talk about the government shutdown sometimes ignores the health law's role in it.

The New York Times: Senate Leaders Mull Raising Debt Ceiling In Challenge To House
Senate Democratic leaders will move forward this week on a measure to raise the government's legal borrowing limit without any policy strings attached, answering House Republicans' taunts that Democrats would not force their politically vulnerable senators to cast that difficult vote. … Mr. Boehner told the ABC News program "This Week" that the House could not pass federal financing for the fiscal year that began last Tuesday without measures limiting Mr. Obama's health insurance law, the Affordable Care Act. House Democrats and some moderate Republicans say that a bipartisan majority does exist, but that Mr. Boehner refuses to defy Tea Party conservatives and hold a vote on the Senate-passed measure (Weisman and Calmes, 10/7).

Politico: Is Obamacare Still The Point?
Suddenly, even as everyone in Washington focuses on the government shutdown and debt ceiling standoff, fewer than ever want to talk about the issue that launched those fights in the first place: Obamacare. President Barack Obama and his aides are painting GOP leaders as hostage takers and suicide bombers over their shutdown and debt ceiling strategy. House Republicans are pushing the idea that Obama and Democrats are intransigents who refuse to engage in civil discourse on a solution. Senate Democrats are hammering Speaker Boehner with the president's call for a House vote on a clean funding bill. And everyone wants to talk about how shutdown pain is hitting home for ordinary Americans (Epstein, 10/7).

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