KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Preexisting Conditions Took Spotlight In House Debates, But Medicaid Moves To Center Stage In Senate

Senators are searching for trade-offs in an effort to save the health law's Medicaid expansion.

The New York Times: Medicaid Expansion, Reversed By House, Is Back On Table In Senate
Senate negotiators, meeting stiff resistance to the House’s plans to sharply reduce the scope and reach of Medicaid, are discussing a compromise that would maintain the program’s expansion under the Affordable Care Act but subject that larger version of Medicaid to new spending limits. With 62 senators, including 20 Republicans, coming from states that have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, the House’s American Health Care Act almost certainly cannot pass the Senate. (Pear, 5/15)

POLITICO Pro: Senate Republicans Aim For Medicaid Compromise In Repeal Talks 
Sens. Rob Portman and Pat Toomey have been trying to strike a compromise that bridges disagreements between Republican moderates who want to keep Medicaid expansion and conservatives who want to rapidly eliminate it and rein in spending. The two senators have discussed proposals to significantly alter the Medicaid provisions of the House’s Obamacare repeal bill, which capped the program's funding and phased out its expansion. (Pradhan, 5/15)

Meanwhile, moderates from both sides of the aisle came together on Monday to talk health care —

The Associated Press: Senate Moderates Hold Bipartisan Health Care Talks
Moderate senators from both parties met Monday to explore whether they can work on bipartisan legislation overhauling the nation's health care system. The evening session came as Republican senators have begun closed-door meetings aimed at crafting a GOP bill scuttling much of President Barack Obama's health care law. (5/15)

The Hill: Senators Huddle In Capitol To Explore Bipartisan Path On ObamaCare 
A bipartisan group of senators met in the Capitol on Monday night to discuss whether there is a bipartisan way forward on healthcare reform. The meeting was organized by Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.), who have put forward a more centrist healthcare plan that would allow states to keep much of ObamaCare in place if they choose. While senators said the meeting was preliminary and just discussing ideas broadly, the push for a bipartisan solution could potentially emerge as an alternative to the Republican-only repeal and replace approach from leadership. (Sullivan, 5/15)

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