KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Republicans Have Plenty Of Ideas For Replacing Health Law — But None They Can Agree On

As time goes on, instead of there being a groundswell of support for a single bill, alternatives are mushrooming. In other news, the chairman of the Freedom Caucus says he may be willing to continue in 2018 the "insurer bailout" payments and cost-sharing reduction payments for consumers that Republicans have been trying to kill.

Politico: GOP Swimming In Obamacare Replacements, But No Consensus
Republican leaders want to get their Obamacare repeal effort back on track. There’s a big problem, though: They’re neck-deep in competing plans to replace the law. Nearly a half-dozen plans have been introduced or are coming — none with the broad support needed to get through Congress and win over the public. And that’s making it far more difficult to repeal a law the GOP has spent six years trying to kill. (Everett and Haberkorn, 2/9)

The Hill: Republicans Working With CBO On Details Of ObamaCare Bill 
House Republicans have been working with the Congressional Budget Office on parts of an ObamaCare replacement that they could include in a repeal bill this spring, lobbyists and aides tell The Hill. They have been working with the CBO, Congress’s nonpartisan budget scorekeeper, on the details of tax credits, high-risk pool funding, and changes to Medicaid that could be included in a repeal bill that Republicans hope to pass by the end of March. The bill will use the fast-track process known as reconciliation to avoid a filibuster by Senate Democrats. (Sullivan, 2/8)

Morning Consult: Key Conservative Lawmaker Opens Door to Obamacare Insurer Payments
The chairman of the House Freedom Caucus said he would be open to making payments to insurers in 2018, agreeing to support a provision of Obamacare over which House Republicans had sued the Obama administration. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said he may be open to funding the reinsurance and cost-sharing reduction payments under the Affordable Care Act during a short-term transition period away from the health care law toward a more conservative alternative. The Freedom Caucus’s approval of these programs could ease their passage through Congress. (McIntire, 2/8)

CQ Roll Call: GOP Support Grows For Obamacare Cost-Sharing Subsidies
His comments are among several signals that the controversial subsidies from the health care law may survive. The support from the conservative wing — which often balks at increased government spending — could be crucial as House Republicans push forward on a broader effort to repeal and replace the law. Other key Republicans are increasingly backing the subsidies as a way to ensure stability in the marketplace while the GOP works on a replacement. (Mershon and Williams, 2/8)

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