KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Political Points And Counter Points: What’s At Stake As GOP Senators Face A Health Plan Vote

Opinion writers contemplate the cost-benefit analysis Republican senators are confronting. Many have for years dreamed of the chance to unravel Obamacare, but the Congressional Budget Office analysis offers some damning reasons to think twice before supporting it.

The New York Times: A Vote Of Conscience And Courage
This week, these senators will face a career-defining choice. It is not an easy one for many of them. Republicans have spent years promising to repeal Obamacare. Now the Senate is nearing a decision on whether to do so. Opposing the bill risks marking any Republican as a traitor to the party. By late Monday, enough Republicans were nonetheless expressing skepticism about the bill to put its success in serious doubt. Susan Collins of Maine, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Dean Heller of Nevada have all distanced themselves from the bill. But we’ve seen a version of this story before. (David Leonardt, 6/27)

The Wall Street Journal: The Senate’s Health-Care Hour
Senate Republicans are headed for a vote on their health-care bill as soon as this week, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is still scrambling for 50 votes. What the holdouts should understand is that this is a defining political moment. They may never have a better chance to improve U.S. health care and reform government, and the window is closing. (6/26)

The Washington Post: This Is Why So Many Republicans Are Ready To Buck Public Opinion On Health Care
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and the GOP leadership are scrambling this week to corral 50 out of 52 Republican votes for an historically unpopular health-care bill. Why did so many House Republicans already vote for a bill that large majorities in every state detest? And why are their Senate colleagues considering walking the same plank, given the electoral risk? (David C. Barker and Christopher Jan Carman, 6/27)

USA Today: Senate Health Bill Breaks GOP Promises On Costs And Trump's On Coverage
In Democratic circles, I hear many wondering how Republican senators could vote for a health care bill that, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, will cause an estimated 22 million people to lose coverage by 2026 and deals a severe blow to tens of millions of vulnerable people insured by Medicaid. Prominent Republicans I interact with have a different lens. They are not primarily focused on covering more people. To the extent they have a focal point in health care, it’s more likely to be costs. They point to premium and deductible increases under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in some markets and say this demonstrates the need to repeal the law. (Andy Slavitt, 6/26)

The Washington Post: Is The GOP Trying To Repeal And Replace Itself?
This is a week to keep focused on the most urgent question in domestic policy and politics: Will Republicans snatch health insurance from millions of Americans and slash the vital Medicaid program by $770 billion , all to enable massive tax cuts for the wealthy and powerful? (Eugene Robinson, 6/26)

Bloomberg: Maybe @realDonaldTrump Actually Likes Obamacare
President Donald Trump isn’t the kind of guy to be humble about his accomplishments. Yet his Twitter persona paid relatively little attention to what could be the biggest step toward one of his campaign promises so far: the emergence of a Senate bill that aims to roll back much of Obamacare. Maybe he's not so sure he likes what he sees? (Mark Whitehouse, 6/26)

The Washington Post: The CBO Confirms: Senate Republicans’ Health-Care Bill Is A Turkey
The Congressional Budget Office’s highly anticipated scoring of Senate Republicans’ health-care bill was released Monday. To no one’s surprise, it leaves about as many more Americans uninsured (22 million) as the House version (23 million) by 2026; in fact the shock is greater under the Senate’s bill that would prompt 15 million to lose coverage in the first year. The CBO forecast states, “By 2026, an estimated 49 million people would be uninsured, compared with 28 million who would lack insurance that year under current law.” (Jennifer Rubin, 6/26)

Los Angeles Times: How Many People Will Die From The Republicans' Obamacare Repeal Bills? Tens Of Thousands Per Year
How many people would lose their lives if the Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act succeeds? Estimates of this inherently murky statistic vary, but the range is from about 28,000 to nearly 100,000 a year. That’s a shocking toll from an effort that is essentially aimed at gifting the wealthiest Americans with hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts by slashing healthcare. So no one should be surprised that Republican and conservative supporters of the House and Senate repeal bills have spent a lot of time claiming that nothing of the sort will happen. The effort moved into high gear this weekend, following Thursday’s unveiling of the Senate GOP’s version of ACA repeal. (Michael Hiltzik, 6/26)

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