KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Perspectives On Medicaid Expansion Disappointments And Dreams; The GOP And Its Next Health Policy Iterations

Opinion writers offer their views on the vote by the Kansas legislature not to override Gov. Sam Brownback's veto of a Medicaid expansion measure, while others examine how Republicans in Congress might move forward on health care.

The Kansas City Star: Medicaid Rejection A Shame On Kansas
The Kansas House fell three votes short Monday of overriding Gov. Sam Brownback and approving Medicaid insurance coverage for about 150,000 of the state’s residents. The decision is tragic. We applaud the 81 members of the House — far more than a simple majority — who endorsed a plan to give hope to lower-income Kansans who are sick or need help to stay well. The thousands of ordinary Kansans who sent emails or made phone calls to legislators urging an override also should be commended. Your work must continue. (4/3)

The Wichita Eagle: Lawmakers Side With Brownback, Not Public
It is disheartening that the Kansas House failed by three votes Monday to override Gov. Sam Brownback’s veto of Medicaid expansion. It’s also disappointing – but not surprising – that more than a dozen Wichita-area GOP lawmakers were among the 44 House members who voted to sustain Brownback’s veto. All but one of them have consistently opposed Medicaid expansion. Rep. Joe Seiwert, R-Pretty Prairie, said he supported expansion when he ran for re-election last November, yet he voted against the bill and the override attempt. (4/3)

The Des Moines Register: Kansas Should Know That Health Care Makes Working Possible
Last week Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback vetoed legislation that sought to expand Medicaid to 150,000 residents under the Affordable Care Act. This is noteworthy because the bill was passed by the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature. Better late than never, Kansas lawmakers have figured out what the majority of states know: It makes sense to use the federal law to provide health insurance to poor people and collect a windfall of Washington dollars to pay for that coverage. But Brownback doesn't get it. His veto message underscores the misguided thinking behind the resistance in Republican-controlled states that refuse to expand Medicaid. (4/3)

Richmond Times-Dispatch: McAuliffe And Northam Call On GOP To Expand Medicaid. Good Luck With That, Fellas.
In seemingly coordinated op/ed columns in other papers over the weekend, Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam called on Virginia Republicans to approve Medicaid expansion. McAuliffe and Northam know perfectly well Republicans won’t do that, but pushing the issue could help Northam in the governor’s race. That makes Northam’s closing statement that “it’s time to put politics aside” more than a trifle disingenuous. (4/3)

The New York Times: Republican Health Proposal Would Undermine Coverage For Pre-Existing Conditions
Throughout the debate to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, President Trump and Republican congressional leaders have insisted they would retain a crucial, popular part of the health law: the promise that people can buy insurance even if they’ve had illnesses in the past. Their efforts foundered last month, when a House health bill had to be pulled from the floor after it failed to attract enough support. (Margot Sanger-Katz, 4/4)

USA Today: Republicans Cannot Give Up On Health Care
Repealing the failure of Obamacare and replacing it with a plan that actually provides affordable and quality health care for families is something that I focused on long before I became governor. In 2009, when I was a private citizen, I launched Conservatives for Patients’ Rights because I was concerned about the ramifications Obamacare could have for our nation. What I fought hard against immediately came true. Under Obamacare, costs have skyrocketed and families cannot keep the doctors they like. Obamacare was sold on a lie, plain and simple. (Gov. Rick Scott, 4/3)

The Wichita Eagle: New Health Policy: Willful Neglect
And so the stage is set not for outright repeal or repeal and replace or any effort to fix the system. It’s set for sabotage. Here’s how it will happen, unless Trump and Price recover their consciences or congressional Republicans hear enough from back home to fear for their political lives in the 2018 elections. The ACA’s 1,442 “shalls” and “wills” each represent a dial that Price can tweak on his own – at least until he’s taken to court. (Davis Merritt, 4/4)

The Charlotte Observer: GOP Infighting Turns Ominous For Trump And The Party’s Agenda
The political disaster that was the non-repeal of Obamacare last month was bad enough. But now its recriminatory aftershocks, fully joined by President Trump himself, augur ill for the future of the Republican agenda this year – and maybe beyond. The president was understandably frustrated in his first major legislative campaign. He worked the phones late most nights to round up GOP votes to pass the imperfect, long-promised repeal out of the House of Representatives. (Andrew Malcolm, 4/3)

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