KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

Rep. McDermott, Fierce Health Law Proponent, Retiring

Washington Rep. Jim McDermott, a Democrat, says he will spend the rest of the year working on a mental health reform bill. Meanwhile, the House returns Tuesday to vote on some unfinished business, including a bill repealing the health law, which CBO says would save a half-trillion dollars.

The Associated Press: Democratic US Rep. Jim McDermott Announces Retirement
Longtime Democratic Rep. Jim McDermott of Washington state announced Monday that he will not seek re-election for a 15th time when he completes his term at the end of the year. McDermott said he was proud of the many things he has accomplished during his time in office, including reforms to foster care, affordable housing for people with AIDS, but most important, he said, was his work on the national health plan. (1/4)

McClatchy: In Congress, Expect Renewed Battles On Refugees, Guns, Health Care
The House of Representatives will vote on a measure this week to repeal the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s legacy accomplishment. ... This is the health care repeal bill that the Senate passed before adjourning for the holidays. If the bill clears the Republican-controlled House, it would be the first ACA repeal measure to reach Obama’s desk. (Douglas, 1/5)

The Hill: Bill Gutting ObamaCare Would Save Half-Trillion Over A Decade, CBO Finds
A GOP-led effort to repeal the biggest parts of ObamaCare would cost about $42 billion less than previously expected, saving more than a half-trillion dollars over a decade, the congressional budget scorekeeper said Monday. Legislation to gut most of ObamaCare's mandates and taxes, known as Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act, would reduce the deficit by $516 billion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. (Ferris, 1/4)

In other Capitol Hill news, the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee is taking a look at nutrition standards for school meals, and the Senate will vote on an FDA nominee —

CQ Roll Call: Study Sees Benefit In School Meal Standards Senate May Change
Federal school meal nutrition standards under fire in Congress improved by 29 percent the overall quality of meals for several thousand students in a Washington state school district, according to a study released Monday. The report comes as the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee chairman and ranking member say they plan a markup this month of child nutrition reauthorization legislation that would revisit the 2010 law that set tougher standards for federal school lunch and breakfast meals. (Ferguson, 1/4)

The Hill: Senate Panel To Vote On FDA Nominee Next Week
The nominee, Dr. Robert Califf, is a cardiologist and longtime Duke University researcher who joined the FDA as a deputy commissioner in February. He has received praise from Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and is expected to have relatively smooth sailing. (Sullivan, 1/4)

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