KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Not Satisfied With What They’re Seeing In Congress, Governors Start Drafting Own Health Plan

Governors will have more influence over the final legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, because they're the ones who will be implementing the vision in their states. Meanwhile, lobbying groups are hoping they'll have better luck in the Senate than they did the House.

Reuters: U.S. Governors Work Senate As New Power Brokers In Obamacare Repeal
A group of about a dozen Republican governors is pushing for its own set of national healthcare reforms, flexing its considerable muscle in the national debate over the future of Obamacare as the U.S. Senate begins writing its bill. Led by Governor John Kasich of Ohio, the governors are using a nine-page proposal they crafted in February as the platform to shape what they think a critical portion of an Obamacare replacement law should look like, according to a half dozen people who helped write the plan. (Aubtaleb, 5/17)

The Hill: Lobby Groups To Watch In Senate Healthcare Fight 
Lobbying groups opposed to the House’s healthcare reform bill are pinning their hopes on the Senate for big changes. Industry groups felt largely cut out of the House’s drafting and passage of the American Health Care Act and now are clamoring for action to fix what they view as serious defects in the legislation.  (Roubein, 5/18)

And in other news on the American Health Care Act —

The Hill: Abortion Poses Hurdle For Senate Healthcare Bill 
Abortion has emerged as a potential stumbling block for Senate Republicans as they seek to craft an ObamaCare repeal-and-replace bill that can garner 51 votes. Senators are fretting that a provision in the House healthcare bill that bars financial assistance from being used to buy plans covering abortion will be stripped out under the Senate’s rules of reconciliation. Republicans hope to use that special budgetary procedure to bypass a Democratic filibuster. (Roubein, 5/19)

The CT Mirror: Senate Considers Stripping States Like CT Of Abortion Coverage Option
As Senate Republicans meet behind closed doors this week to craft their bill to replace the Affordable Care Act, one of the most contentious issues is how it will affect the abortion coverage millions of American women now have as part of their health insurance policies. The American Health Care Act, approved by the U.S. House earlier this month, bars anyone receiving a federal subsidy from buying a policy that includes abortion coverage. (Radelat, 5/18)

CQ HealthBeat: GOP Senators Discuss Health Tax Credits Ahead Of CBO Score
Senate Republicans on Thursday wrestled with questions of how to factor in consumers’ ages and income in devising a new set of federal subsidies for medical insurance, which would replace those created by Democrats’ 2010 health care law. Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, underscoring just how preliminary the meetings have been, suggested the Senate might split its massive rewrite of the health care law into two parts, the first of which would focus on stabilizing the market in 2018 and 2019. A scaled-back bill would be far easier to get through the Senate and perhaps could attract bipartisan support, but would represent a retrenchment in Republicans’ efforts to overhaul President Barack Obama’s health care law. (Young and Mershon, 5/18)

The Washington Post Fact Checker: Nancy Pelosi’s Claim That ‘Seven Million Veterans Will Lose Their Tax Credit’ Under The GOP Health Bill
While listing a series of criticisms of the House Republican bill to overhaul the Affordable Care Act, Pelosi described it as “Robin Hood in reverse” that hurts those in need, such as veterans. In its earlier iteration, the American Health Care Act (AHCA) contained a provision protecting tax credits for veterans, regardless of whether or not they were enrolled in the Department of Veterans Affairs health-care system. The version of the bill that was passed in May omitted this provision, meaning some veterans may no longer have access to subsidized private insurance. But Pelosi glossed over the nuances of this issue in her claim, so we dug into it. (Lee, 5/18)

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