KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Governors To GOP Leaders: We’ll Be Stuck Paying Billions For Care If Health Law Is Repealed

The Democratic Governors Association wrote a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saying the plan to repeal the health law would mean financial disaster for states. Meanwhile, some Republicans in the House are considering keeping some of the legislation's taxes in place.

The Associated Press: Democratic Governors Warn Congress On Health Care Repeal
Democratic governors Wednesday warned top Republicans in Congress that repealing the Obama health care law would stick states with billions of dollars in costs for providing medical care to residents made newly uninsured. The Democratic Governors Association wrote to House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Governors estimated that states could face nearly $69 billion in costs for uncompensated care over the next 10 years if the health law is repealed. States traditionally shouldered a hefty share of such costs. (12/21)

The Hill: Dem Governors Warn ObamaCare Repeal Will Hurt States 
Democratic governors are calling on Republicans in Congress to leave in place the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly referred to as ObamaCare, warning that any move to replace the massive healthcare law will place a huge burden on state governments that have used federal money to help low-income residents gain access to medical care. In a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy (D), Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Wednesday that repealing ObamaCare could mean that 30 million people lose coverage by 2019. (Wilson, 12/21)

CQ Roll Call: States To Lobby Republicans To Maintain Obamacare Funding
Governors say they intend to pressure Republican lawmakers to maintain the amount of funding available to states under President Barack Obama’s signature health law until a replacement is in place. A number of different streams of money are available to the states under the 2010 health care overhaul (PL 111-148, PL 111-152), including additional federal dollars for the Medicaid in states that expanded the program under the law. Currently, 32 states including the District of Columbia have broadened Medicaid eligibility. (Williams, 12/21)

The Hill: GOP Considers Holding Off On Repealing ObamaCare Taxes
Congressional Republicans are considering holding off on repealing some of ObamaCare's taxes, according to lobbyists familiar with the discussions.  GOP lawmakers on the House Ways and Means Committee discussed the possibility of keeping some of the taxes in place during a retreat last week at the Library of Congress, the sources say. Even if some of the taxes are not removed as part of the initial repeal bill, it does not necessarily mean they will remain indefinitely. (Sullivan, 12/21)

And in other health law news —

The Associated Press: Lawmaker Says Son's Broken Arm Was Bad Health Care Example
A conservative GOP lawmaker says he "made a poor choice of words" when citing a decision to delay treatment of his son's broken arm to point out the benefits of a health care system in which consumers bear a greater share of out-of-pocket costs. Rep. Bill Huizenga stirred up controversy earlier this week after telling Michigan news site MLive.com that he and his wife opted to place a splint on their son's arm and wait until the next morning to take him to the doctor rather than seek immediate but more costly treatment at an emergency room. (12/21)

Arizona Republic: Parents, Foster-Care Advocates Stand Against Possible Repeal Of ACA
Parents and leaders of foster-care groups gathered at the state Capitol to warn lawmakers and the public about possible problems that could emerge with repealing the Affordable Care Act. The Children's Action Alliance, an organization that aims to help improve children's health and security, led the event Wednesday morning. (MacDonald-Evoy, 12/21)

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