KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

As House GOP’s Intra-Party Fiscal Fight Continues, Dems’ Strategy Is To Not Give In On Health Law

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, is seeking Democratic support to advance fiscal talks to avert a government shut down and raise the debt ceiling. Meanwhile, a bloc of Republican lawmakers unveiled a yearlong funding bill that would delay the health law's implementation for a year -- adding to the budgetary chaos on Capitol Hill.

Politico: White House Determined Not To Give Ground On Obamacare
Don't blink first. That’s the strategy President Barack Obama and Capitol Hill Democrats are pursuing as the nation faces a government shutdown, a historic default on its debt and the final phase of Obamacare (Allen, 9/12).

The New York Times: Boehner Seeking Democrats' Help On Fiscal Talks
But a bloc of 43 House Republicans undercut the speaker's deficit-reduction focus, introducing yearlong funding legislation that would increase Pentagon and veterans spending and delay President Obama’s health care law for a year -- most likely adding to the budget deficit. That bloc is large enough to thwart any compromise that does not attract Democratic support (Weisman, 9/12).

The Wall Street Journal: Boehner Wants Joint Talks On Debt, Budget
Mr. Boehner said he made the same case in a private meeting with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on Wednesday. But Mr. Lew said the White House wouldn't agree to such talks, following the 2011 political showdown that nearly led the government to begin missing payments. Mr. Boehner didn't specify the spending cuts, "changes and reforms" he would seek in exchange for raising the debt cap, but a clamor is growing among House conservatives to demand that no funding measure be approved unless it strips money from the federal health care law. Conservative opposition to the health law is making it difficult for the House to pass a short-term funding bill, known as a continuing resolution, that would keep the government operating after the new fiscal year begins Oct. 1 (Hook and Boles, 9/12).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: GOP Leaders Confounded On Stopgap Spending Bill Over Conservative Assault On 'Obamacare'
GOP leaders eager to avoid blame for a possible government shutdown next month appear confounded by conservatives' passion for using fast-approaching deadlines to derail the implementation of President Barack Obama's health care law. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, conceded Thursday his plan was all but dead for quickly passing a temporary spending bill that also defunds Obamacare, make the Senate vote on each idea separately and then send only the portion for keeping the government open to the White House for the president's signature (9/12).

PBS NewsHour: Chaos In House Over Obamacare Fight
Remember that time House Speaker John Boehner's Republican members put him in a tough spot? When lawmakers wanted to pressure him to go farther on a fiscal matter, no matter the consequences? Yeah, that's happening. Again. Republican leaders on Wednesday pulled a measure that would have funded the government beyond the end of September, delaying a scheduled Thursday vote on the spending bill until next week (Bellantoni and Burlij, 9/12).

Roll Call: 32 GOP Lawmakers Float Alternative CR That Defunds Obamacare
Forty-three House Republicans have introduced their own continuing resolution that they think would achieve the goal of both cutting spending and defunding Obamacare better than the plan GOP leaders put forth Tuesday. Rather than fund the government for a month and a half at the post-sequester top line of $988 billion, it would run through all of fiscal 2014 at the lower, $967 billion levels many Republicans favor (Dumain, 9/12).

The Hill: CR Delaying Obamacare Draws Support
Forty-three House Republicans are backing a plan to fund the government while delaying and defunding Obamacare for one year, highlighting the challenge facing GOP leadership as it seeks a middle path that would protect against a shutdown. Lawmakers affiliated with the Tea Party rejected leadership's initial proposal on Tuesday, which would have foisted a defund vote on the Senate while allowing a clean continuing resolution to move to the White House for President Obama's signature (Baker and Viebeck, 9/12).

PBS NewsHour: Obamacare Battles In The House Put Burden On Boehner As Budget Deadlines Loom
As Congress returns to Capitol Hill this week, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, is in a bind to pass major spending bills before the Oct. 1 fiscal year deadline. Gwen Ifill speaks with Todd Zwillich of Public Radio International about how the battle over Obamacare threatens to shut down the government (Ifill, 9/12).

In other fiscal news --

The Wall Street Journal: Budget Deficit On Track For Smallest Shortfall Since 2008
August was the eleventh month of the 2013 fiscal year, and the September data will likely show that 2013 was the first year since 2008 that the government had an annual deficit of less than $1 trillion. The Treasury Department said the August spending level was elevated because Social Security, Medicare, and other benefit payments scheduled to go out Sept. 1 were pushed to Aug. 30 because payments can't go out on the weekend (Paletta, 9/12).

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.