KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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‘Nobody Will Be Worse Off Financially’: Price, Pence Dispatched To Sell GOP Health Plan

Both Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Vice President Mike Pence spoke out in defense of the American Health Care Act over the weekend.

The Wall Street Journal: Trump Administration Officials Defend GOP Health Bill Amid Party Disagreement
Trump administration officials sought to buck up support for House Republican plans to overhaul the Affordable Care Act on Sunday amid vocal dissension within the party about the measure. “We strongly support the plan,” Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said on NBC’s Meet the Press, adding it would bring coverage to more people without raising costs. “I firmly believe nobody will be worse off financially in the process that we’re going through.” (Harrison and Harris, 3/12)

Politico: Price On Obamacare Replacement: ‘Nobody Will Be Worse Off Financially’
Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said Sunday that “nobody will be worse off financially” after Republicans in Congress repeal and replace Obamacare. “I firmly believe that nobody will be worse off financially in the process that we’re going through, understanding that they’ll have choices that they can select the kind of coverage that they want for themselves and for their family, not [that] the government forces them to buy,” Price told host Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press” in an interview that aired Sunday. “So there’s cost that needs to come down, and we believe we’re going to be able to do that through this system. There's coverage that’s going to go up.” (McCaskill, 3/12)

The Hill: Price: This Is 'Absolutely Not' ObamaCare Lite
Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price in an interview broadcast Sunday pushed back against characterizing the GOP's healthcare replacement plan as ObamaCare lite. Host Chuck Todd on NBC News's "Meet the Press" questioned how Price would respond to those referring to the plan as ObamaCare lite, and saying they are "essentially accepting the architecture but just trying to remodel the building." "No, absolutely not," Price said. (Savransky, 3/12)

Bloomberg: White House Pledges No One ‘Worse Off’ In Obamacare Replacement 
Sweeping White House promises that insurance premiums will fall and more people will have coverage under the Obamacare replacement plan may be hard to keep as conservatives demand limits to government involvement in health care before they support the measure. Top officials from Donald Trump’s administration fanned out across political talk shows on Sunday to sell the merits of the American Health Care Act, the House bill intended to replace former President Barack Obama’s signature health law. (Edney and Tracer, 3/12)

The Washington Post: Pence Relies More On Charm Than Oratory To Push The GOP Health-Care Plan In Kentucky
Vice President Pence was in full charm mode Saturday when he touched down here for a visit to try to sell the Republican health-care plan in a state that has a complex relationship with former president Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act. Just a day earlier, Kentucky’s Republican Gov. Matt Bevin had told reporters that while he is eager to overhaul Obama’s health plan, he found himself skeptical of the initial Republican proposal and more in line with the views of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who has been an outspoken opponent of the bill. (Parker, 3/11)

The Associated Press: Pence Appeals For Complete GOP Support For Health Overhaul
Vice President Mike Pence appealed for total GOP congressional support for a White House-backed health overhaul during a brief visit Saturday to Kentucky, where the Republican governor and junior senator are among the plan’s skeptics. “This is going to be a battle in Washington, D.C. And for us to seize this opportunity to repeal and replace Obamacare once and for all, we need every Republican in Congress, and we’re counting on Kentucky,” Pence said at an energy company where business leaders had gathered. (Thomas, 3/11)

The Hill: Pence Takes GOP Healthcare Pitch On The Road 
Vice President Mike Pence on Saturday took the Trump administration’s pitch for the GOP's ObamaCare repeal on the road. ... Pence vowed to stand by the GOP’s healthcare plan, and insisted that the transition would be swift and orderly. But the vice president focused the brunt of his address on pointedly attacking the Affordable Care Act as an unworkable and failed policy. (Greenwood, 3/11)

Bloomberg: Pence Promises Kentucky Obamacare ‘Nightmare’ About To End 
Mike Pence said the “nightmare” of Obamacare will soon end as he visited Kentucky in hopes of drumming up some good publicity for a contentious health bill that’s united many conservatives and liberals -- as well as doctors, seniors and hospitals -- in opposition.  “Obamacare has failed the people of Kentucky it has failed the people of America and Obamacare must go,” the vice president told an invited audience of about 100 mostly small business owners and Republican backers in Louisville. Pence also spoke to a smaller group of business executives, including John Schnatter, chief executive officer of locally-headquartered pizza company Papa John’s International Inc. (Pettypiece, 3/11)

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