KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Tracking Health Law Policy, Politics On Capitol Hill

A Democratic House member grapples with the troubles in the health law rollout. CBO releases numbers on adding Capitol Hill staffers to the exchanges and a House committee ponders subpoenas to get exchange enrollment numbers. Also, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., readies a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The Washington Post: Rep. Matt Cartwright, Loyal Democrat, Stands By Health-Care Law, Takes Stage To Defend It
Rep. Matthew Cartwright (D-Pa.) is in Congress today because of the Affordable Care Act. He did not vote for it, but he won because the veteran moderate Democrat he challenged in a primary voted against it. That's the kind of deep-blue district he now represents. ... He still believes in the law and his support remains strong, but he knows the troubled rollout has shaken his constituents’ confidence (O'Keefe, 11/3).

The Hill: CBO: Ending ObamaCare 'Exemption' Adds To Deficit 
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office said Friday that a Republican-backed plan to force more high-level officials and staffers to obtain their insurance through Obamacare would add nearly $1 billion to the deficit. The CBO estimates that ending the so-called Obamacare exemption for members of Congress and staff and forcing officials like President Obama to enroll in an Obamacare exchange would add $978 million to the deficit over 10 years. The plan would deny the office-holders and staff the premium support they now get from the government (Wasson, 11/1). 

Fox News: House Committee Threatens Subpoena Over Obamacare Enrollment Numbers
The Republican-led House Ways and Means Committee may subpoena the Obama administration in an effort to obtain enrollment numbers for the new health care exchanges amid reports only six people signed up for Obamacare on its first day. Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., the committee's chairman, wrote to Medicare chief Marilyn Tavenner, the senior Obama administration official closest to the problem-plagued rollout of the health law, requesting that enrollment figures be released immediately. "We are facing a crisis," Camp wrote. "The failed launch of the exchanges combined with the millions of cancellation notices is putting Americans health care coverage at risk. By all media accounts, enrollment in the exchanges is thus far significantly behind the administration's projections" (11/2).

And on the issue of abortion -

Politico: Graham Calls 20-Week Abortion Ban A Debate 'Worthy Of A Great Democracy'
As he moves to introduce a bill in the Senate banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday the issue is a conversation a "humane" society needs to have. "This is a debate worthy of a great democracy. When do you become you? At 20 weeks of a pregnancy, what is the proper role of the government in protecting that child?” Graham said on "Fox News Sunday." Despite concerns about the constitutionality of such a ban, the South Carolina Republican who is up for re-election, said he and other advocates would make the case to the Supreme Court that it's a legitimate government interest to ban such abortions, making an exception for the health of the mother and cases of rape or incest (Kopan, 11/3).

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