KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Conservatives Criticize Repeal Plan As ‘Obamacare By A Different Form’

“Writing checks to individuals to purchase insurance is, in principle, Obamacare,” says a memo prepared by the Republican Study Committee. The immediate criticism foreshadows the difficulty Republican leadership will face in trying to pass its proposed legislation.

Politico: Conservatives Pan House Obamacare Repeal Bill
A handful of House conservatives on Monday evening criticized GOP leaderships’ newly released Obamacare replacement bill, foreshadowing trouble for the repeal effort even after leaders tried to assuage the far-right. Some House Freedom Caucus members dismissed the bill as creating a new “entitlement program” by offering health care tax credits to low-income Americans. (Bade, 3/6)

Bloomberg: Conservatives Pan GOP Obamacare Replacement Plan As ‘Welfare’ 
An analysis written for an influential bloc of U.S. House conservatives derides a key component of a new Republican plan to replace Obamacare, faulting a provision offering tax credits to individuals who wouldn’t otherwise have access to health insurance. Prepared for the Republican Study Committee, a group of about 170 House conservatives, the staff report called the refundable tax credits “a Republican welfare entitlement.” (House, 3/7)

The Hill: Freedom Caucus Chair Questions If ObamaCare Replacement Will Lower Costs 
House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-S.C.) on Monday night wondered whether his party’s plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare would ultimately lower healthcare costs. “The biggest concern I have is, will it lower healthcare costs?” he asked on Fox News’s “Hannity." "Until we get that answer we have to hold out judgment.” Meadows added the GOP is nearing a viable ObamaCare replacement, but said the party’s latest version falls short of its efforts in 2015. (Hensch, 3/6)

Meanwhile, over in the Senate —

Roll Call: GOP Senators Threaten Obamacare Repeal Effort
Four Republican senators have raised concerns about a House GOP plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. And that could threaten the fate of the plan in the Senate. ... Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch of Utah indicated to reporters that there was no pre-cooked agreement that could move swiftly across the Senate floor after House action. “I would not look to these problems as though they can’t be resolved. They can, and it’s going to take some leadership. But watch what McConnell does here.” (Bowman, 3/6)

The Associated Press: Toomey: Medicaid Expansion Repeal Must Be Negotiated
Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania said Monday that dealing with the Medicaid expansion in a repeal of former President Barack Obama’s health care law must be a “negotiated agreement.” Toomey also said the sickest people, such as those with serious pre-existing conditions, should be covered through a high-risk pool that is subsidized by the government to make it affordable. Toomey’s comments came during a stop at the studio of Philadelphia’s KYW-TV, where he answered several questions submitted online. (Levy, 3/6)

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