KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Selling GOP Health Plan To Public May Make Herculean Effort To Get It Through House Seem Easy

After a brutal few months of negotiations, Republican lawmakers managed to eke out a victory in the House. But now they have to convey to their voters, who are terrified of losing health care, why that was a good thing.

Roll Call: Republicans‘ Latest Health Care Challenge: Selling Their Bill
With the Republican health care plan continuing to earn negative headlines and unfavorable poll numbers, House GOP lawmakers returning to Washington this week have a public relations challenge of epic political proportions. They succeeded — barely — at passing their health care bill. Now they need to sell it. Some members tried to do that over recess. A handful held in-person town halls, with New Jersey Rep. Tom MacArthur, the architect of the amendment that resurrected the plan, taking questions for nearly five hours. Others hit the media circuit or wrote op-eds in their local newspapers. (Pathé, 5/15)

The Associated Press: In Swing Districts, Voters Vent Over Health Care, Fear Trump
Skeleton in hand, retired biology teacher Jeannie Scown delivered a message to her Republican congressman at his office northwest of Chicago. "Killed by Trumpcare Plague, May 4, 2017," her poster read. In a nod to House Republicans' recent vote to gut the health care law, Scown had no intention of sparing four-term Rep. Randy Hultgren with subtlety. (Barrow and Burnett, 5/14)

CQ Magazine: The Curious Case Of Democratic 'Yes' Votes On Health Care
That day Congress voted on the American Health Care Act and most everyone fixed their attention on a group of Republicans who hadn’t quite made up their minds on the bill. So it all but escaped notice that two Democrats initially voted for the bill. Internet sleuths claimed they found the “traitors” but it turned out the two they named had left Congress in 2015. (Miller and Dick, 5/15)

But not all voters are worried after the vote. For some it was a relief —

The New York Times: Why Some Can’t Wait For A Repeal Of Obamacare
For Linda Dearman, the House vote last week to repeal the Affordable Care Act was a welcome relief. Ms. Dearman, of Bartlett, Ill., voted for President Trump largely because of his contempt for the federal health law. She and her husband, a partner in an engineering firm, buy their own insurance, but late last year they dropped their $1,100-a-month policy and switched to a bare-bones plan that does not meet the law’s requirements. They are counting that the law will be repealed before they owe a penalty. (Goodnough, 5/12)

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