KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

GOP Tweaks Health Bill In Attempt To Appease Both Sides But Doubts Remain

There have been concessions made to both moderates and conservatives, but the road to 50 votes is far from clear.

The Washington Post: Revised Senate Health-Care Bill Still Lacks The Votes To Pass
The Senate GOP’s latest attempt to rewrite the Affordable Care Act showed few signs of gaining traction Thursday, further imperiling the party’s quest to overhaul Barack Obama’s 2010 health-care law. At least three Republican senators said Thursday they remained opposed to bringing up the revised bill, while two rank-and-file Republicans announced plans to offer their own health-care plan just as leaders released an updated bill of their own. Senate leaders need the support of 50 of their 52 members to pass the legislation. (Sullivan, Snell and Eilperin, July 13)

The New York Times: Senate G.O.P. Leaders Unveil Health Care Bill To Try Winning Over Skeptics
Senate Republican leaders on Thursday unveiled a fresh proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, revising their bill to help hold down insurance costs for consumers while keeping a pair of taxes on high-income people that they had planned to eliminate. ... Republicans said the revised bill would provide roughly $70 billion in additional funds that states could use to help reduce premiums, hold down out-of-pocket costs and otherwise make health care more affordable. The bill already included more than $100 billion for such purposes. (Pear and Kaplan, 7/13)

The Associated Press: McConnell Reveals New Health Bill; Will His GOP Support It?
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell released his new but still-reeling health care bill Thursday, bidding for conservative support by letting insurers sell low-cost, skimpy policies and reaching for moderates with added billions to combat opioid abuse and help states rein in consumers’ skyrocketing insurance costs. However, allowing insurers to offer bare-bones plans threatens to alienate moderates and perhaps other conservatives. (Fram, 7/13)

CNN: New Health Bill Could Allow Cheaper Plans, Fewer Benefits
The revision includes a version of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz's amendment, which would allow insurers offering Obamacare plans to also offer cheaper, bare-bones policies. This is meant to appeal to conservatives, but could also drive away moderates who are concerned the amendment would cause premiums to spike for those with pre-existing conditions. (Fox, Luhby, Lee and Barrett, 7/13)

Modern Healthcare: New Senate Bill Retains Medicaid Cuts, Provides More Money To Stabilize Individual Market
Lawmakers have also decided to keep taxes on the wealthy and insurer CEO compensation, which are projected to bring in $232 billion over the decade. Of that, $182 billion would be directed to states to stabilize their individual insurance markets. That's an increase of $70 billion from the original version of the bill. Additional funds from the taxes would be used to link disproportionate share hospital funds to uninsured rates, which will help facilities in states that did not expand Medicaid. (Lee, 7/13)

Politico: Senate Republicans Release New Obamacare Repeal Bill
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell unveiled the plan on Thursday morning at a closed-door, GOP members-only meeting before posting the text online. Unlike their previous bill, which faced stiff resistance across the conference, it would maintain some Obamacare taxes on the wealthy, provide new financial support to help low-income people purchase health insurance, allow people to pay for insurance with pre-tax money and spend billions more to fight opioid addiction. (Everett, Haberkorn and Karlin-Smith, 7/13)

Read the full text of the bill here.

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