KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Republicans Consider Old, New Ways To Hinder Health Law Implementation

Some Republicans and religious leaders are following through with challenges to the law's contraception coverage mandate, looking for ways to repeal a Medicare cost-cutting board and trying further to delay implementation.

Politico Pro: With Contraception, ACA Not Done In Court
Dozens of lawsuits have been filed challenging the law's requirement that employers cover contraceptives in their health insurance policies, arguing that it's a violation of their right to exercise their religion without government interference. And in recent days, two new developments have emerged that show the challenge could get significant attention from the courts. Two district court judges have granted preliminary injunctions to block the mandate from going into effect for private, non-religious companies (Haberkorn and Smith, 11/8).

The Hill: Cantor Vows Bill To Repeal Health Law's Contentious Board
House Republicans will take aim at President Obama's divisive Medicare cost-cutting board during the new Congress, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) wrote Wednesday. The alert came in a letter from the House Majority Leader to his GOP colleagues lamenting Mitt Romney's presidential loss and outlining ways for Republicans to pursue tailored interests legislatively. Cantor said that repealing the health law's Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) is one effort that could garner support in the Senate over the objections of Democratic Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) (Viebeck, 11/7).

CQ HealthBeat: GOP Will Continue To Look For Ways To Hinder Implementation Of Health Care Law
Republicans, especially those in the House, will be left to continue their campaign against the law in the form of funding fights, hearings, demands for documents and targeted legislation in the hope that something gains traction. ... One way to chip away at the overhaul would be through the annual appropriations process, a strategy that Republicans have already used with limited success (Attias, 11/7).

But there is also some rethinking of that strategy among Republicans --

The Hill: Conservatives Begin To Admit Defeat In Their 3-Year War Against 'ObamaCare'
[T]hough conservatives still say the law will be a disaster once it's fully implemented, they're finally acknowledging that it will, in fact, be fully implemented. "Repeal of the whole thing, I just don't see now how that's possible," said Grace-Marie Turner, president of the Galen Institute, a conservative health care think tank. The Wall Street Journal’s conservative editorial page also admitted defeat Wednesday. With Obama in the White House for another four years, the health care law "will spread like termites in the national economy," the paper wrote (Baker, 11/7).

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