KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

GOP Considers Asking For ‘Doc Fix,’ Other Proposals, In Return For Debt-Ceiling Raise

House Republicans are considering their options on tying proposals they want to see to passing an increase in the debt ceiling, among them fixing the way Medicare pays doctors. Democrats and the White House are making it increasingly clear that they don't intend on making concessions with the debt limit.

The Washington Post: House Speaker John Boehner Mulling Over Debt-Ceiling Options
On Thursday, however, two ideas gained traction, with dozens of Republicans predicting that versions of the pitches could hit the floor next week once House members return to Washington. At the top of the list: a proposal to link a one-year extension of the debt ceiling to a restoration of recently cut military benefits. Another popular option is tying the “doc fix,” which would alter the way doctors are reimbursed for Medicare treatments, to an extension. Changes to the federal budget that would reduce fraud or mandatory spending levels also have been mentioned (Costa, 2/6).

The New York Times: Skating Close To The Edge, Again, On The Debt Ceiling
Even as some Republicans continued to hunt for one policy concession or another to demand from Democrats in exchange for lifting the ceiling, leadership has indicated it has no appetite for brinkmanship — particularly as Republicans head into a midterm campaign for control of Congress where they feel they have an upper hand, given the botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act and President Obama’s low approval ratings. And the White House has made clear that it has no intention of giving Republicans anything in exchange for increasing the limit (Lowrey, 2/6).

Immigration reform legislation stalls as the GOP focuses on the health law --

Bloomberg: Boehner Stalls On Immigration With Focus On Obamacare
The House’s chances of passing a revamp of U.S. immigration policy this year are fading as Republicans say they want to avoid distractions from their focus on blaming Democrats for Obamacare (Bender, 2/7).

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