KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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GOP Senators Going Home A Fractious Party With No Path Forward On Health Care

Many had hoped they would be leaving for recess with repeal under their belts. Meanwhile, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch announces that his committee will start holding health care hearings when lawmakers return in September.

Politico: Republicans Leave Town With No Clear Path On Obamacare
Republicans are leaving Washington Thursday for a month of recess with no clear direction on what they’ll do next on Obamacare. Senate leaders want to just drop the issue altogether. Conservatives say they’re still fighting for repeal. Moderates want to launch a bipartisan effort to fix the shaky Obamacare system. The reality is that, after seven years of unity on repealing Obamacare, Republicans are rudderless on how to talk about or address the defining domestic policy issue of nearly the past decade for their party, and they have no clear plans despite holding all the levers of power in Washington. Now, they face a month away from the Capitol, answering to their home-state voters about their lack of progress. (Haberkorn and Demko, 8/3)

The Hill: Finance Committee Announces Healthcare Hearing In September
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) announced Thursday that the panel will hold a healthcare hearing in September, in the wake of a failed vote on repeal of ObamaCare. The hearing will be a chance for members of both parties to discuss the healthcare law, and it comes amid calls for a return to regular order and the committee process. (Sullivan, 8/3)

Modern Healthcare: Bipartisan Moves To Steady Insurance Market Face Same Old Conflicts Over Regulation
Fledgling efforts in the Senate and U.S. House of Representatives to develop bipartisan legislation to stabilize the individual insurance market could founder over clashing views on deregulating health plans. Democrats and a growing number of Republicans are eager to steady the struggling individual market covering nearly 20 million Americans to prevent an exodus of insurers and healthy customers. (Meyer, 8/3)

The New York Times: With Few Wins In Congress, Republicans Agree On Need To Agree
Most people do not become United States senators to pass a resolution declaring National Lobster Day. But Congress has had to settle largely for small-bore victories since President Trump was sworn into office, ostentatiously failing to pass a bill to repeal his predecessor’s health care law and achieving little substantive policy legislation. (Steinhauer, 8/4)

In other news from the Senate —

Detroit Free Press: Stabenow Wants Medicare More Widely Available
With health care reform to be looked at again by a U.S. Senate committee next month, U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., is proposing letting younger Americans buy into Medicare coverage now limited to older people. Stabenow today introduced legislation that would provide an option for people between the ages of 55 and 64 to purchase Medicare coverage, saying more than a million people in Michigan fit that age bracket and many are "burdened by high insurance premiums, unaffordable deductibles and limited options." (Spangler, 8/3)

The Hill: Zinke Shares Beers With Murkowski After Alleged Threats Following Healthcare Vote 
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke shared a picture of him drinking a beer with Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) on Thursday, after reports surfaced that the secretary threatened to cut economic development funds in the Alaska over her vote on the healthcare bill. "I say dinner, she says brews. My friends know me well. Thanks Lisa Murkowski," Zinke tweeted while including picture of them both holding Alaskan brand beers. (Beavers, 8/3)

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