KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Health Care Groups At A Crossroads Over Trying To Kill GOP Bill Or Help Shape It

Senators have hinted at a willingness to work with health care industry stakeholders, which were shut out of House negotiations. Those businesses now must decide what course of action to take. Meanwhile, The Associated Press looks at some of the sticking points of getting to 50 votes. And meet the Senate parliamentarian who will be the chamber's referee in the debate.

The Wall Street Journal: Health-Care Groups Weigh Involvement In GOP Overhaul Push
Health-care groups that vocally opposed the House Republicans’ health plan are now split on the best path forward in the Senate: Should they work with lawmakers to shape a measure or simply try to kill it? As House Republicans pushed through legislation toppling large portions of the Affordable Care Act, groups representing hospitals, doctors, consumers and some insurers made no secret of their displeasure. Largely shut out of the talks, they actively opposed the bill, firing off angry letters and in some cases airing ads aimed at vulnerable House Republicans. (Hackman, 5/28)

The Associated Press: McConnell Faces A Challenge Passing Health Care In Senate
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell faces a challenge in resolving the clashing demands of GOP senators on a health care replacement bill. Lawmakers have mixed feelings about Medicaid funding, with decisions that could throw millions into the ranks of the uninsured, and rising premium costs for some. Many conservatives are eager to cut costs, especially on Medicaid. (Fram, 5/30)

The Washington Post: This Senate Staffer Could Change The Course Of The Health-Care Debate
Sometime in the next few weeks, four Democratic lawyers and four Republican ones will file into the ornate Lyndon Baines Johnson Room just steps from the Senate chamber at the Capitol to consider a bill to overhaul the Affordable Care Act. They’ll sit at a long table before someone unknown to most Americans but with singular power to influence whether Republicans can follow through on their seven-year quest to remake President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement. That person is Elizabeth MacDonough — the Senate parliamentarian, who is charged with acting as Congress’s version of a referee in the contentious health-care debate. (Cunningham, 5/29)

In other news —

The Hill: GOP Leader Tempers ObamaCare Expectations 
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is tempering expectations that the Senate will pass an overhaul of the nation’s healthcare system, promising his colleagues a vote but not success. McConnell in his public comments and private conversations about the ObamaCare repeal and replace bill is painting a more sober picture than Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who in March guaranteed passage through the House. (Bolton, 5/29)

The Hill: Dems Plot Recess Offensive On ObamaCare
Democrats are using the new Congressional Budget Office analysis of legislation repealing and replacing ObamaCare to go on the attack against Republicans over a critical one-week recess. A recess packet sent to House Democrats encourages lawmakers to hold events highlighting the “terrible consequences” of the House Republican bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare. (Roubein and Hellmann, 5/28)

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