KHN Morning Briefing

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Outlooks And Assessments: Criticism Of The House GOP Health Plan Heats Up

In the aftermath of Congressional Budget Office estimates regarding the number of Americans who would lose health coverage under the American Health Care Act, editorial pages move deeper into the discussion with some scalding critiques of the plan and some defenses of how it could help reduce the nation's deficit.

The Washington Post: The Trumpcare Trap
What we learned from the latest “score” by the Congressional Budget Office of Obamacare and the Trump administration’s “repeal and replace” plan is what we should have known all along. To wit: If people have health insurance, they will use more health services — visits to doctors’ offices, tests, procedures and drugs — and health spending will rise. (Robert J. Samuelson, 3/14)

The Wall Street Journal: The Health Bill’s Fiscal Bonus
The furor over the Congressional Budget Office’s report on the House GOP health bill is concentrated on predictions about insurance coverage, which suits Democrats fine. Lost amid the panic is that CBO shows the bill is a far-reaching advance for the market principles and limited government that conservatives usually favor. (3/14)

Los Angeles Times: Every Single False Republican Criticism Of Obamacare Applies Perfectly To Trumpcare
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office on Monday released its analysis of the House GOP’s plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The result is about as damning as it gets. ... I served on President Obama's healthcare reform team and worked on the Hill to get the legislation passed. It was apparent to me then that many of the Republicans’ criticisms of the ACA were wrong, and yet they now apply to the House GOP bill that Speaker Paul Ryan introduced last week. (Neera Tanden, 3/15)

The New York Times: Obamacare Isn’t In A ‘Death Spiral.’ (Its Replacement Probably Won’t Be Either.)
If you listen to a typical Republican politician, the Affordable Care Act’s insurance markets are in a “death spiral,” “imploding,” “collapsing” or “will fall of their own weight.” That’s part of the rationale behind the new House proposal to reshape the health care system. On Monday night, House Speaker Paul Ryan repeated this line, even in the face of projections that his plan could lead to 24 million fewer Americans with health insurance in 10 years. “Put this against the backdrop that Obamacare is collapsing,” he said in interview with Fox News. “This, compared to the status quo, is far better.” (Reed Abelson and Margot Sanger-Katz, 3/15)

The Washington Post: The GOP Masterminds Behind Obamacare’s ‘Death Spiral’
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) says Obamacare is in a “death spiral,” and he should know: He’s the one who cut the power to Obamacare’s engines and pointed its nose downward. President Trump says, “ObamaCare is imploding and will only get worse,” and he should know: He’s the one who placed the explosives under Obamacare’s foundation. (Dana Milbank, 3/14)

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Know The Basics Of Why Obamacare Stumbled Before Adopting Trumpcare
For all of the debate coming out of Washington on health care reform, there seems to be a lack of a fundamental understanding of the functioning of the health care market, and how and why it has stopped working for consumers. A major misunderstanding is the concept of health insurance. Health insurance is a simple idea -- we all agree to pay into a pool and to share the resources we collect for appropriate medical needs. In this manner, the healthy subsidize the sick, in the hopes that resources will be available for them should they ever be in need. (Kevin Schulman, 3/14)

The Washington Post: This May Be The Most Brutal Number In The CBO Report
Plenty has been made of the big Congressional Budget Office finding that 24 million people could lose their insurance under Republicans' Obamacare replacement over the next decade. ... But there's another number that paints a particularly dire picture for the GOP's alternative — especially in light of President Trump's populist rhetoric. According to the CBO, 64-year olds making $26,500 per year would see their premiums increase by an estimated 750 percent by 2026. (Aaron Blake, 3/14)

Arizona Republic: Ryancare Fails This Free-Market Test
Conservatives are up in arms over the Obamacare replacement principally designed and promoted by House Speaker Paul Ryan. Let’s call it Ryancare for symmetry. Most of the fire is aimed at the refundable tax credits in the bill. But those are a pragmatic necessity. Instead, the focus of the ire should be on the remaining Obamacare insurance market regulations and the Senate filibuster rule that makes getting rid of them a political impossibility. (Robert Robb, 3/14)

The Charlotte Observer: Obamacare Spawns A New Lie Of The Year
President Barack Obama told a whopper when he was pitching his health care reform bill. “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it,” was so far off the mark that PolitiFact designated it its Lie of the Year for 2013. Now we have a new contender for 2017, also spawned from Obamacare: President Donald Trump’s promise that no Americans would lose coverage in the Republicans’ repeal of the Affordable Care Act. (3/14)

Los Angeles Times: Seven New Ways The GOP's Obamacare Repeal Bill Would Wreck Your Healthcare
The headline findings in the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of the Obamacare repeal bill produced by House Republicans are brutal enough: 24 million Americans losing their health coverage, healthcare costs soaring for many millions more, and the evisceration of Medicaid, all while handing the richest Americans a handsome tax cut. But in its fine print, the CBO report identified at least seven other ways the GOP proposal would damage the U.S. healthcare system. Some would have effects reaching far beyond the middle- and low-income buyers of insurance on the individual market who are the Affordable Care Act’s chief beneficiaries. (Michael Hiltzik, 3/14)

Chicago Tribune: Health Care 'Access' Is Not The Same As 'Coverage'
Watching top Republicans explain their proposed Affordable Care Act replacement can make you wonder who hijacked the English language. For example, if you're like me, you might have been shocked by the news that 24 million fewer Americans will have health insurance by 2026 if the Republican-proposed alternative passes, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office — including 14 million fewer people in the next year alone. (Clarence Page, 3/14)

Arizona Republic: 3 Trump Health-Care Lies? You Tell Me
Trump made promises during the campaign and now we're seeing comparisons to his actions. I've picked a few from those being reported about the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Not alternative facts. Not fake news. Just information. The promise versus the reality. (EJ Montini, 3/14)

Los Angeles Times: How The GOP Heathcare Plan Would Worsen The Opioid Crisis
A drug epidemic is ravaging the United States, and it’s getting worse, not better. More than 52,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2015, more than died from automobile accidents or firearms. That’s far more than died from overdoses in any year during the crack epidemic of the 1980s. ... But you wouldn’t know that from the American Health Care Act of 2017, the House Republican proposal to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a smaller, cheaper health insurance program. (Doyle McManus, 3/15)

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: CBO Confirms The Disaster That Is Republicare
What’s most astonishing about the Congressional Budget Office analysis of the House Republicans’ health care plan is not the estimate that it would increase the ranks of the uninsured by 24 million over the next decade. Nor is it the savage price increases the bill would impose on low-income older Americans seeking to buy insurance. Nor is it the casual cruelty of cutting Medicaid services to 14 million Americans after 2020. What’s most astonishing is the blatant dishonesty of Republican leaders who Tuesday either denied that any of this would occur, or blithely skated past it. (3/14)

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