KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Politics And Strategies Complicate GOP Efforts To Derail The Health Law

Democrats see the threat of shutting down the federal government over the health law as potentially bringing electoral gains in 2014. Meanwhile, House Republican leaders are mulling whether to attach new repeal amendments -- including one that would delay the health law's individual mandate -- to the pending bill to fund the government.

McClatchy: Senate Moves Toward Showdown Vote On Obamacare
The Senate is expected to take a key vote Wednesday that would smooth the path for an eventual showdown over President Barack Obama's health care plan, but the midday vote is likely to inflame a raging war within the Republican Party. A group of Republican senators tried to launch an old-fashioned filibuster Tuesday, despite pleas from party leadership to back off (Lightman, 9/24).

The Associated Press: Analysis: Republicans In A Risky Fight With Obama
Under relentless pressure from their right wing, Republicans are in the midst of a risky fight with President Barack Obama they know they will lose, little more than a year before an election that history says they should win. To minimize the damage, the party must redefine victory as something less than a full defunding of Obama’s 3-year-old health care law, yet convince the most conservative GOP supporters that Republican lawmakers succumbed after a principled fight. All without triggering a government shutdown or a default by the Treasury, or otherwise offending independents whose ballots will settle the 2014 elections (Espo, 9/25).

The Washington Post: Democrats See GOP Shutdown Threat As Opening For 2014 Election Gains
The key to the Democratic strategy is a belief that a showdown is likely to play out similarly to the government shutdowns of 1995 and 1996, which turned public opinion sharply against the Republican majority. … As a result, many Democrats welcomed Tuesday's filibuster-style floor speech by conservative Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), who pledged to talk for as long as he could in an attempt to slow Democratic plans to advance a bill that would keep the government open while also funding President Obama's signature health-care law. House Republicans voted to strip funding from Obamacare last week in exchange for keeping the government running. ... But Republican strategists say Democrats are overstating the potential benefits of the showdown for their side. They say that Democrats have their own problems — particularly support for Obamacare in the face of strong public opposition (Goldfarb, 9/24).

Los Angeles Times: Republican Leaders Considering Plan B To Stop Healthcare Law
With their effort to block money to run the government until President Obama guts the new healthcare law starting to fizzle, Republican leaders are considering Plan B. Senate Republicans are pushing renegade Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to wrap up his filibuster-like obstruction of the government funding bill sooner rather than later. Top Republicans want to get the legislation back to the House in time to give Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) an opportunity to attach new healthcare repeal amendments that might have a better chance at achieving GOP policy goals (Mascaro, 9/25).

Politico: House GOP May Attach Obamacare Delay To CR
The House Republican leadership is seriously considering attaching a one-year delay of Obamacare's individual mandate to the Senate bill to avert a government shutdown, according to senior GOP aides. If House Republicans decide to go this route, it would all but provoke a government shutdown, since Senate Democrats might not even schedule a vote on a bill that includes that provision, Senate leadership staffers say. Even if the Senate schedules a vote, there might not be time to move the legislation through the slow-moving chamber (Sherman and Bresnahan, 9/25).

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