KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

House To Vote On Stopgap Funding Bill That Would Derail Health Law

The GOP-controlled chamber is expected to approve the bill, which will then face stiff opposition in the Senate. The White House has also threatened a veto.

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Showdown: House To Vote On Stopgap Funding Bill That Seeks To Derail Obama’s Health Care Law
Congressional Republicans struggled to tamp down a family feud Thursday as they approached a politically charged showdown with the White House that combines the threat of a government shutdown, a possible first-ever federal default and the GOP's bid to repeal the nation's three-year-old health care law (9/19).

Los Angeles Times: GOP Steps Up Its Vow To Kill Obama's Healthcare Law
House Speaker John A. Boehner on Thursday promised a "big victory" when the chamber votes to defund President Obama's health care law as part of a must-pass bill to keep the government running. But it may be short-lived: The White House has promised a veto. Republicans in Congress believe the American people are on their side as they head toward Friday's vote, using the threat of a government shutdown on Oct. 1 to force the president to undo his signature health care law. They insist opposition to the Affordable Care Act will force Obama to change course (Mascaro, 9/19).

Fox News: House To Vote On Plan To Defund Obamacare As Shutdown Looms
The House on Friday will vote to replace Obamacare with a plan that expands tax breaks for Americans who buy their own insurance, setting the stage for a showdown with Senate Democrats that could push the government toward a partial shutdown at the end of the month. More than 140 congressional Republicans signed on to the bill to keep the government running at existing funding levels and delay the health care law. Democrats have vowed to oppose that bill, warning the strategy risks a government shutdown, with funding set to expire by Oct. 1 (9/20).

Los Angeles Times: Government Shutdown Is No Idle Threat
The opening round of the fight comes Friday with a vote in the House. … Moreover, the fight has morphed from a straightforward battle between Republicans and Democrats into a three-way brawl in which the GOP congressional leadership must contend not only with the White House, but with conservative insurgents in their own ranks. House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) presides over an uneasy coalition of Republican regulars and tea-party-backed conservatives. The conservatives, rallying to the demand to "defund Obamacare," have insisted that the GOP refuse to keep the government financed unless the White House and the Democratic majority in the Senate agree to block President Obama's healthcare law. The administration plans to roll out new online health insurance marketplaces — a key part of the new law — on Oct. 1 (Lauter and Mascaro, 9/19).

CBS News: Roadmap For How Obamacare Will Likely Survive Senate
The political struggle over defunding Obamacare in the Senate may turn out to be not much of fight at all. The House is scheduled on Friday to vote on the proposal that will be attached to a must-pass spending bill to fund the government. But when it all goes to the Senate next week, Democrats now expect to strip the Obamacare provision without interference from most Republicans (Barrett, 9/19).

Politico: House Might Nix Obamacare Subsidies In CR
House GOP leaders are warning they may not simply just take up a continuing resolution funding government operations if Senate Democrats strip out language defunding Obamacare. Instead, House Republicans could either sit on the bill — which is unlikely, as that would lead to a government shutdown — or insert other, more onerous provisions into the $986 billion continuing resolution or CR, and then send that revised package back to the Senate (Bresnahan, 9/19).

The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire: Obama Issues Veto Threat On GOP Budget Bill
The White House on Thursday said President Barack Obama would veto a bill from House Republicans that would fund federal agencies into the new fiscal year but also strip all money from his signature health care law. The White House budget office said the administration strongly opposes the Republican bill’s effort to hamper the health law, saying the bill “advances a narrow ideological agenda that threatens our economy and the interests of the middle class” (Favole, 9/19).

Kaiser Health News: Health On The Hill: Health Law Caught In The Middle Of Budget Fight
Kaiser Health News staff writer Mary Agnes Carey talks with Politico Pro's Jennifer Haberkorn about recent Capitol Hill happenings. Specifically, with implementation of major provisions of the law looming, Republicans see this fall's budget showdown as their last chance to slow or stop the president's signature legislation from taking effect (9/19).

The Associated Press: The Truth: Government Won’t Really Shut Down
Here’s the truth about a government “shutdown.” The government doesn’t shut down. So the world won’t end if a dysfunctional Washington can’t find a way to pass a funding bill before the new budget year begins Oct. 1. Social Security checks will still go out. Troops will remain at their posts. Doctors and hospitals will get their Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements (Taylor, 9/20).

Meanwhile, in other Capitol Hill news -

Roll Call: Ron Johnson May Sue Over Obamacare Ruling For Congressional Staff
Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said Thursday he is laying groundwork for a court challenge to an Office of Personnel Management decision that will permit congressional staffers to continue receiving employer contributions for their health care. The OPM’s August ruling was intended to remedy a drafting error in the 2010 health care law that would require all Congressional staffers to pay for the full cost of their insurance without employer contributions (Shiner, 9/19).

The Hill: Dems Say GOP Funding Measure Would Gut Children’s Health
House Democrats are hammering a government funding measure written by Republicans for gutting the Children's Health Insurance Program. In a Thursday letter to their Democratic colleagues, the top Democrats on the House Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce committees warned that the Republicans' proposal to defund the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would “wreak havoc on Medicare and other federal health programs,” including CHIP (Lillis, 9/19).

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