KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Some GOP Lawmakers Advance Plan For Health Law Showdown

Politico reports that a feud is brewing among Republicans about whether to use a government funding measure to choke off funding for the law's implementation ahead of this fall's budget battles.

Politico: GOP Feuds Over Obamacare Tactics
A brewing Republican versus Republican fight over whether to use a government funding measure to choke off Obamacare is splitting the party ahead of this fall’s budget battles. A growing number of Republicans are rejecting calls from leading conservatives, including Sens. Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, to defund the president’s health care law in the resolution to keep the government running past Sept. 30. The rift exposes an emerging divide over how the GOP can best achieve its No. 1 goal — to repeal Obamacare — while highlighting the spreading fears that Republicans would lose a public relations war if the dispute leads to a government shutdown in the fall (Raju and Sherman, 7/25).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Health Care Funding, More Spending Cuts Are Obstacles to Averting Government Shutdown In Fall
There hasn’t been a government shutdown in nearly two decades, but top lawmakers on Capitol Hill are finding trickier-than-usual obstacles in their path as they try to come up with must-do legislation to keep federal agencies running after Sept. 30. Conservatives making a last stand against President Barack Obama’s new health care law and Senate Democrats’ resistance to a $20 billion spending cut wanted by many, if not most, Republicans are two of the major problems confronting House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and other GOP leaders (7/26).

Reuters/The Washington Post: Republicans Prepare For 'Obamacare' Showdown, With Eye To 2014 Elections
With the Obama administration poised for a huge public education campaign on healthcare reform, Republicans and their allies are mobilizing a counter-offensive including town hall meetings, protests and media promotions to dissuade uninsured Americans from obtaining health coverage (7/25).

Politico: Republicans Pen Obamacare Letter To John Boehner
More than 60 Republicans have signed a letter urging Speaker John Boehner to defund Obamacare when Congress funds the government in September. The letter, being circulated by the office of freshman Rep. Mark Meadows, doesn't explicitly say that supporters will vote against a government funding bill if it does not strip funding for Obamacare. But it says that signers of the letter are "urging [Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.)] to defund the implementation and enforcement of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in any relevant appropriations bill brought to the House floor in the 113th Congress, including any continuing appropriations bill" (Sherman and Bresnahan, 7/26).

Politico: Marco Rubio Doubles Down On Obamacare Defunding Rhetoric
Rubio and other Senate Republicans have already signed a letter promising not to support a continuing resolution or appropriations bill that funds further implementation or enforcement of the law. Depending on how many lawmakers follow their lead, the Affordable Care Act could turn into a central sticking point over raising the debt ceiling, which the government is expected to hit sometime between Oct. 1 and the end of the year (Cunningham, 7/25).

In related news -

The Hill: Bill Targets ObamaCare 'Honor System'
Legislation introduced this week in the House would prohibit the distribution of federal subsidies to ObamaCare exchanges until a system is in place to counter fraud. The bill, introduced by Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.), comes in response to hundreds of pages of new regulations setting forth, among other provisions, verification rules for those applying for insurance under the law (Goad, 7/25).

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