KHN Morning Briefing

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Latest GOP Defector Deals A Major Blow To Health Bill Already On Shaky Ground

Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) saying he can't vote for the Republican's Obamacare-replacement plan, as it stands, gives centrists cover to be more vocal about their concerns. Upton says he's crafting an amendment though to address his issues. Meanwhile, House leadership is scrambling to whip up votes as President Donald Trump continues to press hard to get something passed. Media outlets report on the state of negotiations and where lawmakers stand.

The New York Times: G.O.P. Scrambles As A Crucial Voice Shuns The Latest Health Bill
Representative Fred Upton of Michigan was only the latest Republican defector, but he carries more sway than most. The former chairman of one of the House committees that drafted the American Health Care Act, as the Republicans call their measure, Mr. Upton said the latest version of the health care bill “torpedoes” protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions. (Kaplan and Pear, 5/2)

The Associated Press: A Way Forward On Health Care Bill? Key GOP Rep Has $8B Plan
Top House Republicans scrambling to prevent another collapse of their push to repeal much of the Obama health care law may have found a way to win over some moderate GOP holdouts. Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., an influential centrist who'd initially announced opposition to his party's health care bill, said he's crafting an amendment with the backing of party leaders that could gain crucial support for the languishing measure. (Fram, 5/3)

The Washington Post: GOP Health-Care Push Faces New Obstacles As Concerns About Preexisting Conditions Grow
On Capitol Hill, influential Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) came out against the plan, dealing a major blow to proponents trying to secure enough votes to pass it in the House. Across the country, late-night host Jimmy Kimmel’s emotional story about his newborn son’s heart condition reverberated on television and the Internet. And former president Barack Obama, who signed the bill Republicans are trying to dismantle, took to Twitter to defend it. All three voiced concerns about losing a core protection in the Affordable Care Act for people with preexisting conditions, as is possible under the latest GOP plan. (Sullivan and Weigel, 5/2)

The Hill: Former GOP Chairman 'Cannot Support' New Healthcare Bill
“I’m not at all comfortable with removing that protection. I’ve supported the practice of not allowing pre-existing illnesses from being discriminated against from the very get-go,” Upton said in the interview. “This amendment torpedoes that. And I told leadership I cannot support this bill with this provision in it. (Wong, 5/2)

The Wall Street Journal: GOP’s Health-Bill Woes Show New Power Of Party’s Centrist Wing
Mr. Upton’s opposition expanded political cover for centrists to oppose the bill, including some facing tough re-election battles in swing districts. In recent years, many of these lawmakers have complained that House leaders were catering too much to the party’s conservative faction. The show of defiance suggested that GOP leaders may not be able to count on the cooperation of their centrist flank on upcoming bills that could prove just as thorny as the health measure, including the president’s plan to overhaul the tax code. (Peterson and Armour, 5/2)

Politico: GOP Changing Health Bill As Trump Leans In Hard
House Republicans worked late into the night Tuesday on last-minute changes to their Obamacare repeal bill, as President Donald Trump began rallying support to muscle the stalled legislation across the finish line. Senior Capitol Hill and White House officials said a new amendment being drafted Tuesday night would address concerns from key moderates about how the legislation treats individuals with pre-existing conditions. (Dawsey, Bresnahan and Bade, 5/3)

The Hill: House GOP Paves Way For Fast-Tracking Potential Healthcare Vote 
House Republicans voted Tuesday to give themselves flexibility to rush through their legislation to repeal and replace ObamaCare later this week. GOP leaders are still scrounging for enough support to pass their revised healthcare plan and haven’t scheduled any floor vote yet. But in the event GOP leaders convince enough of their members to endorse the bill, they’ll have the option of fast-tracking a vote through Friday. (Marcos, 5/2)

Politico: The Republicans Who Will Decide The Fate Of Obamacare
Paul Ryan has a major math problem. The House speaker and his leadership team can lose only 22 Republicans and still pass their Obamacare repeal bill. But roughly 20 GOP members are on record in opposition, and at least another two dozen are undecided. (Bade and Cheney, 5/2)

Bloomberg: Ryan Urges GOP To ‘Pray’ For Health Bill As Opposition Mounts 
House Speaker Paul Ryan told Republicans Tuesday to “pray” as they try to win over the remaining holdouts on the health-care bill with leaders pushing for a vote later this week. Representative Dennis Ross of Florida, a senior member of the House vote-counting team, described Republicans’ closed-door meeting and said they are about “five votes away” from the number needed to pass the bill. (House, 5/2)

McClatchy: Republicans In Democratic Leaning Districts Sweat Health Care Vote 
The list of undecided or opposed members includes incumbents used to tough reelection fights, like Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida, and members who represent districts that flipped to Clinton in 2016, like Rep. Ryan Costello of Pennsylvania. “Each of us individually is evaluating it based on commitments we have made, public statements we have made,” said Costello, who is opposed to the bill. “I voted the bill out of committee and I made certain representations during committee and to my constituents so that if a bill is ultimately going to get to the floor that contradicts statements that I’ve made, that becomes very problematic.” (Daugherty, 5/2)

The Hill: Issa: ObamaCare Repeal Position 'None Of Your Business' 
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) refused to share his position on the House GOP’s revised healthcare bill in a tense exchange on Tuesday. As Issa waited for an elevator to leave the House floor, reporters asked Issa what his position is on the GOP’s latest healthcare proposal. “None of your business,” Issa replied tersely. (Marcos, 5/2)

McClatchy: ‘Kill This Bill Before It Kills Us,’ Cancer Survivor Pleads With Republicans
New Jersey breast cancer survivor Barbara Blonsky on Tuesday delivered a petition with more than 34,000 signatures to the district office of her congressman, Rep. Tom MacArthur, the man most responsible for reviving the floundering GOP health care bill. A moderate Republican, MacArthur sponsored a controversial amendment to the legislation that would make it easier for insurers to charge higher rates to people like Blonsky with a troubled medical history. (Pugh, 5/3)

Modern Healthcare: Healthcare Lobbyists Straining To Stop House GOP Repeal Bill
Hospital groups and some health insurers are lobbying hard to convince House Republicans to drop their current drive to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, warning of dire harms to patients and the healthcare industry. Opponents of the American Health Care Act claim the House GOP bill's provisions could unravel protections for people with pre-existing conditions, roll back the ACA's Medicaid expansion, leave millions more Americans uninsured, and significantly reduce overall Medicaid spending through per-capita growth caps. Nevertheless, President Donald Trump and House GOP leaders are pressing for a House vote on the bill this week, because the House is scheduled to take a weeklong recess starting Thursday. (Meyer, 5/2)

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