KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Strategy To Exclude Moderates, Women From 13-Man Working Group May Come Back To Bite McConnell

The more moderate senators now have no obligation to fall in line behind the group’s final health law draft and will almost surely continue to work on their own ideas. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump plans to take a hands-off approach to the upper chamber's negotiations and let Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wrangle the votes he needs.

The New York Times: Divided Senate Republicans Turn To Health Care With A Rough Road Ahead
The top Republican in the Senate, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, has a reputation as a shrewd tactician and a wily strategist — far more than his younger counterpart in the House, Speaker Paul D. Ryan. So the Senate majority leader’s decision to create a 13-man working group on health care, including staunch conservatives and ardent foes of the Affordable Care Act — but no women — has been widely seen on Capitol Hill as a move to placate the right as Congress decides the fate of President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement. (Pear, 5/8)

The Wall Street Journal: Republicans Confront Health-Bill Backlash
House Republicans may have won the battle to pass a health-care overhaul, but the fight over public messaging that is now ramping up could be critical to the shape of the bill that emerges from the Senate and to any final compromise. GOP leaders and the Trump administration are urgently trying to tamp down a backlash from Democrats and some Republicans who say the House legislation rolling back and replacing much of the Affordable Care Act would imperil coverage for millions of Americans. (Armour and Peterson, 5/8)

The Hill: McConnell: ObamaCare Replacement Bill 'Will Not Be Quick' 
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is signaling that the Senate will not quickly pass legislation to reform the nation's healthcare system after a bill cleared the House last week.  "This process will not be quick or simple or easy, but it must be done," McConnell said on Monday.  He added that "to those who have suffered enough already my message is this: We hear you, and Congress is acting." (Carney, 5/8)

CQ Roll Call: GOP Senators Expect 52 Voices On Health Care
Republican senators downplayed the influence of a working group that Senate leadership formed to help the party hone its legislative effort to replace the 2010 health care law. More moderate members said they are confident they will be able to participate in the policymaking process. The McConnell panel includes mostly members of leadership and more conservative hard-liners like Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah. (Mershon and Young, 5/8)

The Hill: McCarthy: 'I Have No Problems' If Senate Writes Its Own Healthcare Bill
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Monday said he doesn't have a problem if the Senate wants to write its own healthcare bill. “There's a number of senators over there that have different ideas. They are their own legislative body. I have no problems if they write their own bill," McCarthy said on Fox Business Network’s “Mornings with Maria.” "If it took the House passing a bill to get them moving on a bill, I thank them for that." (Savransky, 5/8)

The Hill: What Moderate GOP Senators Want In ObamaCare Repeal 
The House managed to narrowly pass its ObamaCare repeal bill by finding a delicate balance between hard-line conservatives and moderates. Now the Senate is looking to achieve the same feat, only with a smaller margin for error. Senate moderates have already put their markers down on the healthcare issues that concern them the most. Individual senators hold much more power in advancing the health bill than individual House members, and if Senate Republicans can’t find a balance among their caucus, the ObamaCare repeal effort could be doomed. (Weixel, 5/8)

McClatchy: Why Are There Only Men On The Senate's Health Care Panel? 
Criticism on the GOP’s replacement for Obamacare mounted immediately after the House narrowly passed its bill on Friday. Actions by Republican leadership have given those critics – especially those voicing concerns for female health issues – more fuel. Most recently, the Senate unveiled a 13-member panel – all of them men – that would craft a Senate version of a health care bill to replace Obamacare. It’s the latest issue in a series of gender-based criticisms of Republican actions on health care. (Irby, 5/8)

Kaiser Health News: On The Air With KHN: Obamacare Replacement Bill Heads To The Senate
Reporters with Kaiser Health News and California Healthline (produced by KHN) have been featured on a variety of radio and television shows to discuss the legislation passed by the House to overhaul the Affordable Care Act and its prospects in the Senate. Here’s what KHN chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner, KHN senior correspondent Mary Agnes Carey and California Healthline senior correspondent Emily Bazar had to say. (5/9)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.