KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Upon Returning From Recess, Republicans Will Face Ticking Clock To Shore Up Marketplaces

Lawmakers will need to scrounge up 60 votes in 12 days to pass their bipartisan bill. Meanwhile, another plan from Sens. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R., La.) gains traction among Republicans and three former HHS chiefs urge Republicans to stabilize the system.

The Wall Street Journal: Republicans Face Looming Deadline On Health Law
A fast-approaching deadline for insurers to commit to selling health plans next year under the Affordable Care Act is pressuring Republican lawmakers to decide quickly whether to shore up the law and ease the path for insurers or continue efforts to roll it back. Lawmakers returning to the Capitol from recess on Sept. 5 will have only 12 legislative days to decide whether to pass a bipartisan bill aimed at bolstering the ACA’s markets before insurers must commit to participating in the law’s exchanges in 2018. (Armour and Hackman, 8/20)

Modern Healthcare: Collins, McCain And Murkowski Are Modern Healthcare's Most Influential People In Healthcare
In the end, three Republican senators—Maine's Susan Collins, Alaska's Lisa Murkowski and Arizona's John McCain—decided their party's bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act would be bad for the states they represent. Resisting tremendous political pressure, the three voted against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's stripped-down ACA repeal bill. In doing so, they dramatically reshaped the epic political battle over the future of the ACA, which has been bitterly fought over by Republicans and Democrats since it was passed by Democrats on a party-line vote in March 2010. (Meyer, 8/19)

Roll Call: Will 2018 Look Like 2010 For Anti-Repeal Republicans?
When House Republicans passed their measure to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law in May, 20 members of their conference voted against it. While some of them might be able to defend themselves against criticism by saying they voted against a historically unpopular bill, they could find themselves in the same political peril as Democrats who voted against the original health care bill in 2010. (Garcia, 8/21)

The Associated Press: Past Health Chiefs: Insurance Market Stability Is The Goal
Three former U.S. health secretaries of both parties say President Donald Trump and the GOP-led Congress should make stabilizing health insurance marketplaces their immediate goal. Former Health and Human Services secretaries Kathleen Sebelius, Mike Leavitt and Tommy Thompson tell The Associated Press that calming markets should be the objective now that "Obamacare" seems here for the foreseeable future. (8/21)

And Democrats are thinking about their own blue-sky proposals for health care —

The Hill: Democrats Prep For Next Round Of Healthcare Fight
Democrats are heading toward a new phase in the battle over healthcare as they brace for a tough midterm. With the GOP ObamaCare repeal push largely on ice, Democrats are shifting their focus from defending the Affordable Care Act to pitching their own healthcare ideas. (Carney, 8/20)

The Hill: Dems Ask Trump Officials For Briefing On ObamaCare 
Top Democrats on committees overseeing healthcare are requesting a briefing on the administration’s plans for ObamaCare’s open enrollment season, which begins Nov. 1, amid uncertainty over how President Trump will administer the law. In a letter sent to Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma, the lawmakers expressed concerns over what they see as the White House’s efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces. (Roubein, 8/18)

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