KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

The Parts Played By Boehner And Reid In The Shutdown, The Health Law Defunding, And Party Dynamics

Media outlets examine how House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have contributed to the Capitol Hill tensions surrounding the government shutdown and Obamacare fight-- both in their relationship with each other and their places within their respective parties.

The Washington Post: John Boehner, Between A Rock And A Hard Place On Shutdown And Debt Limit
Within the increasingly right-leaning GOP caucus, Boehner might survive one big vote that relied heavily on Democratic support. But two important votes — on the government funding and the debt ceiling — with mostly Democratic backing would leave the already embattled speaker on political life support. The result is that Boehner has thrown in with the most conservative Republican lawmakers. A few dozen of them have urged holding up the government funding legislation to extract concessions from Democrats on President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (Kane, 10/2).

The Wall Street Journal: Reid Sets Tone For Democrats In Shutdown Fight
Mr. Reid has emerged as the GOP's new public enemy No. 1 because he is the man driving his party's hard bargain against Republican leaders in the legislative back-and-forth over funding the government. Democrats have refused to negotiate with Republicans as long as they insist on delaying or defunding the 2010 health-care law. More than any other Democrat, Mr. Reid seems to be setting the tone of his party in the showdown over the shutdown. The impasse marks a shift this year by Democrats in Congress and the White House, who are no longer willing to barter with GOP leaders demanding major concessions in exchange for short-term government-funding bills or extending the nation's borrowing limit (O’Connor and Hook, 10/2).

And one GOP senator second-guesses if shutting the government down over funding the health law was a mistake --

St. Louis Beacon: Blunt Says Forcing Federal Shutdown Over Obamacare Was A Mistake
Although he’s no fan of Obamacare, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt said Wednesday that it was a mistake for House Republicans to have forced a government shutdown unless the health insurance program was repealed (Mannies, 10/2).

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