KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Republicans May Want To Erase Health Law But First They Have To Save It From Collapsing

With all the uncertainty swirling around the future of the health law, Republicans are caught in the position of having to stabilize a marketplace that they never wanted in the first place. Meanwhile, some proposed plans are trying to curb overly generous coverage and are drawing a reaction similar to how the "Cadillac Tax" was received.

The New York Times: Republicans, Aiming To Kill Health Law, Also Work To Shore It Up
After denouncing the Affordable Care Act as an abomination for seven years, Republicans in Congress, working with the Trump administration, are urgently seeking ways to shore up health insurance marketplaces created by the law. While President Trump said as a candidate that “Obamacare is certain to collapse of its own weight,” Republicans fear such an outcome because, now that the fate of the health law is in their hands, they could be blamed by consumers and Democrats. (Pear, 2/10)

The Wall Street Journal: Employers Balk At Curbs On Generous Health Plans
The Affordable Care Act’s tax on high-cost employer health plans faced sharp opposition from employers and unions. Now, Republicans are drawing equal fire for ACA replacement proposals that those groups say would have some of the same effects. The ACA’s so-called Cadillac tax is levied on the value of employer health plans above a certain threshold, in part to discourage what backers argue are overly generous plans and high usage of costly care. It is one of the few aspects of the law that Congress has tweaked, delaying its impact until 2020. (Wilde Mathews, 2/13)

Meanwhile, Republicans are facing a trillion-dollar dilemma over taxes —

The Associated Press: GOP Must Decide What To Do With Health Law Taxes
Republicans love cutting taxes, especially if they were authored by a president named Barack Obama. But as they push their wobbly effort to erase his health care overhaul, they're divided over whether to repeal the levies the law imposed to finance its expanded coverage for millions of Americans. (2/13)

The Associated Press: A Look At Taxes Imposed By Obama's Health Care Law
A look at the $1.1 trillion in taxes over 10 years imposed by former President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. The revenue helped pay for the law's expansion of coverage to millions of Americans. The revenue estimates are by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and Congress' Joint Committee on Taxation. They could differ significantly from whatever Republicans propose in their effort to erase the law and replace it. (2/13)

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