KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Who’s Leading The Charge? Politicians Jockey For Position In Battle To Undo Health Law

With a House vote set for Friday on a bill to strip the health law of funding and to avert a government shutdown, House and Senate lawmakers, state officials and other politicans angle for advantage.

The New York Times' Congressional Memo: Pressed From His Right, Speaker Yields On A Budget Showdown
With much of the government set to run out of money at the end of the month — and run out of borrowing authority by mid-October — Mr. Boehner faced a choice: he could steer a middle ground and find a way out of his fiscal dead end with Republican and Democratic votes, or he could yield to a conservative movement to strip the Affordable Care Act of financing, unite his Republican majority around that war cry, and hope for the best (Weisman, 9/18).

Politico: House GOP Doubles Down On Bad Hand
House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor are playing the last cards in their hand — and they’re most likely losers. The House Republican leadership’s decision to try to defund Obamacare this week in its government funding bill, and their promise to wage a no-holds-barred fight to delay the health care law as part of the debt ceiling fight, is a double-barreled strategy that could set Boehner, Cantor, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and the House Republican Conference up for two big defeats. Nearly everyone in Washington — except a group of conservative Republicans and their allies — admits that the Senate isn’t going to vote to defund the Affordable Care Act. President Barack Obama showed his own determination on Monday not to give in, speaking just minutes after a shooting rampage in Washington to remind the nation he’s not interested in negotiating over the debt ceiling (Sherman and Bresnahan, 9/18).

The Hill: Republicans Squabble Over Who Has Lead Role In Fight To Stop ObamaCare
Tensions are rising between House and Senate Republicans over which conference will lead the fight to defund ObamaCare. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and a spokesman for Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) each said Wednesday that the task is for Republicans in the other chamber as pressure rises to fund the government (Viebeck, 9/18).

CNN: House Republicans Question Cruz’s Obamacare-Defunding Fervor
Republicans in the House of Representatives expressed outrage with one of their compatriots on the other side of the Capitol Wednesday, questioning whether or not Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is really all-in on defunding Obamacare or if he’s trying to put all the onus of defunding the bill on the House. The House outrage stems directly from a statement from Cruz and fellow GOP stalwarts against Obamacare in the Senate, Marco Rubio and Mike Lee. In it, Cruz said Senate Republicans simply don’t have the votes necessary to keep defunding language in the continuing resolution to fund the government after Oct. 1. Republicans have been attempting to push a bill that would fund the rest of the government while defunding the health care law, a bill Democrats have vowed to fight (Walsh, Koenig, 9/18).

Dallas Morning News: Defund? Repeal? No, Gov. Rick Perry Wants To 'Fix' Obamacare
Gov. Rick Perry has called Obamacare a "monstrosity." He's refused to help the federal government implement reforms, including creation of a statewide insurance marketplace. On the other hand, he’s lobbied the administration for roughly $100 million available to Texas under the law. Still, it might come as a surprise that rather than push to defund the law, he’d rather tweak and improve it (Gillman, 9/18).

CNN: Bush, Jindal Offer Input On Obamacare Showdown
Two potential contenders for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination weighed in Wednesday on the congressional battle over Obamacare that's now putting a government shutdown at risk. While former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal agreed the president's health care law is a disaster, they had slightly different comments on House Republicans' refusal to pass an upcoming spending bill unless it kills funds for the president's health care law (Killough, 9/18).

St. Louis Beacon: Blunt, McCaskill Split Over New GOP Efforts To Derail Obamacare
U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., on Wednesday accused some House Republicans of behaving like her misspoken GOP nemesis of 2012 – former Rep. Todd Akin – with their efforts to kill the implementation of Obamacare, even if it forces a government shutdown (Mannies, 9/18).

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