KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Trump Employs ‘Salesman Tactics’ To Line Up Hill Support For Health Law Replacement

But some of these efforts, including his signals of willingness to make changes in the measure, are causing unrest within the Republican caucus. Meanwhile, the White House is working to marshall conservative grassroots action to encourage members to follow the party line. And what about the name, "Trumpcare?" Will it stick? Finally, the White House continues to cast doubt on the value of the yet-to-be released Congressional Budget Office cost and coverage estimates of the American Health Care Act.

The New York Times: After Halting Start, Trump Plunges Into Effort To Repeal Health Law
President Trump, after a halting start, is now marshaling the full power of his office to win over holdout conservatives and waffling senators to support the House Republicans’ replacement for the Affordable Care Act. There are East Room meetings, evening dinners and sumptuous lunches — even a White House bowling soiree. Mr. Trump is deploying the salesman tactics he sharpened over several decades in New York real estate. His pitch: He is fully behind the bill to scotch President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement, but he is open to negotiations on the details. (Haberman and Pear, 3/9)

The Hill: Trump: GOP Healthcare Push 'Coming Along Great' 
President Trump on Thursday insisted the GOP’s effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare “is coming along great,” pushing back on news reports detailing serious roadblocks for the plan. "Despite what you hear in the press, healthcare is coming along great. We are talking to many groups and it will end in a beautiful picture!” Trump tweeted. (Fabian, 3/9)

Politico: Trump's Obamacare Moves Cause Chaos In Congress
President Donald Trump's early efforts to court conservatives opposed to the GOP's Obamacare replacement is backfiring in Congress — emboldening the far right to demand changes that could repel centrists critical to its passage. While the president has given a full-throated endorsement of the bill, he's also suggested he's open to "negotiations." The mixed signals have allowed hard-line conservatives and leadership to hear what they want to hear. Each side is taking Trump's words and arguing he's in their corner. (Bade and Everett, 3/9)

Politico: White House Pushes Party Officials Nationwide To Mobilize On Health Overhaul
Facing mounting roadblocks on Capitol Hill, the White House is pleading with political supporters across the nation to pressure congressional Republicans to support President Donald Trump’s health care overhaul. During a national conference call Thursday evening, White House political director Bill Stepien told Trump backers and national Republican Party officials to pressure members of Congress to support key planks of the president’s agenda — notably his plan to replace Obamacare. (Isenstadt, 3/9)

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Trump Tries To Sell Georgia Tea Party Leader On Healthcare Plan
President Donald Trump met with a Georgia tea party leader and other conservative groups upset with the House GOP’s healthcare plan, struggling to quell growing backlash from the right over the measure. Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin said she was encouraged that Trump heard her concerns about the healthcare plan, but said she left without any promises of changes that would ease her concerns. (Bluestein, 3/9)

Los Angeles Times: He Might Not Call It 'Trumpcare,' But The President Will Likely Own Any Obamacare Replacement
Trump and his advisors have yet to utter the term “Trumpcare,” and some still doubt his commitment to the latest congressional plan to alter President Obama’s signature healthcare law. But there’s little question that the outcome of the healthcare debate will play a major role in defining Trump’s first term in office, affecting his ability to deliver on other priorities such as a $1-trillion plan to rebuild public works, a multibillion-dollar border wall and a daunting challenge to rewrite the tax code. (Bierman and Mascaro, 3/9)

The Wall Street Journal: Will ‘Trumpcare’ Catch On? The Democrats Are Trying
One of the most effective branding campaigns in U.S. political history was the Republicans’ nicknaming of the Affordable Care Act “Obamacare.” ... Now that House Republicans have begun debate on their “repeal and replace” alternative, the American Health Care Act, the Democrats have been quick to take a lesson from the Republicans’ battle plan. “Trumpcare is finally available to the public and Democrats, a growing number of conservatives, and millions of Americans don’t like what they see,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a Tuesday afternoon news conference. He and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington used the term a combined nine times. (Nasaw, 3/9)

The New York Times: White House Casts Pre-Emptive Doubt On Congressional Budget Office
President Trump showed an affinity for “working the referees” in his race to the White House, criticizing a federal judge as biased, panning polls as rigged and even questioning the aptitude of the nation’s intelligence agencies. Now, with Mr. Trump’s administration aggressively pitching the House Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, Capitol Hill’s official scorekeeper — the Congressional Budget Office — is coming under intense fire. (Rappeport, 3/9)

And in the background -

The Wall Street Journal: The Wild Card Of Health-Care Reform
While the Republican plan to overhaul health care took a beating on Capitol Hill, nearby President Donald Trump was discussing something untouched by Congress: prescription-drug costs. Any effort to rein in drug costs, a favorite topic of the president, could seriously harm the pharmaceutical industry. (Grant, 3/9)

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