KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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‘We Have Enough Votes’: GOP Confident Health Plan Will Pass With Help From New Amendment

Still, the vote, expected to happen around lunchtime Thursday, is anticipated to be a nail-biter down to the last minute.

USA Today: Obamacare Repeal: Republicans Scramble In 11th Hour With New Health Plan
House Republicans will take another crack at repealing Obamacare on Thursday in a high-stakes vote on legislation that would dramatically revamp the health care system and will serve as a major test for the GOP Congress and the Trump administration. The Republican bill, hotly contested and highly controversial, was the subject of 11th-hour negotiations and last-minute sweeteners, as GOP leaders scrambled for enough votes to push it through the House and send it to the Senate. (Shesgreen, 5/4)

Politico: Decision Day For Obamacare Repeal
House Republicans will huddle Thursday morning for what amounts to a last-minute pep rally to buck up colleagues as they prepare to take a vote to remake health insurance for millions of Americans. ... Though Republican leaders insisted Wednesday they've secured the 216 votes needed to pass their bill, the roll call will still be nerve-wracking. At least 16 Republicans are still on record rejecting the proposal and about a dozen more are undecided. (Cheney and Bresnahan, 5/4)

The New York Times: With $8 Billion Deal On Health Bill, House G.O.P. Leader Says ‘We Have Enough Votes’
House Republican leaders planned to hold a showdown vote Thursday on their bill to repeal and replace large portions of the Affordable Care Act after adding $8 billion to the measure to help cover insurance costs for people with pre-existing conditions. “We have enough votes,” Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the House majority leader, said Wednesday night. “It’ll pass.” (Kaplan and Pear, 5/3)

The Washington Post: Republicans Plan Health-Care Vote On Thursday, Capping Weeks Of Fits And Starts
Rep. Fred Upton, an influential Republican from Michigan, introduced the amendment that was key to resolving a major sticking point this week. It provides more financial assistance — $8 billion over five years — to help people with preexisting conditions pay for medical costs. Those people are at risk of losing protections under the GOP plan, which seeks to repeal and replace major parts of the ACA. Just a day earlier, Upton said he could not support the Republican plan because of its stance on preexisting conditions. But he sounded an optimistic note after sketching out his fix Wednesday and meeting with President Trump at the White House. (Sullivan, Weigel and Snell, 5/3)

Politico: Meadows Backpedals After Claiming All Americans Will Be Better Under Obamacare Repeal Bill
House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows said Thursday that legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare currently making its way through Congress would not leave in its wake any “losers” who would be worse off than under the current law. Pushed on the issue during an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Meadows (R-N.C.) conceded that perhaps not every single American would benefit from repeal-and-replace, but insisted that the “vast majority” of those in his district would be better off. (Nelson, 5/4)

The Wall Street Journal: U.S. House To Vote Thursday On Health-Care Bill
Thursday’s vote could redeem House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) and deliver President Donald Trump his first major legislative win, coming just after the 100-day mark of his tenure passed with little accomplished on Capitol Hill. But it also will cast a long political shadow for House Republicans in the months leading up to next year’s midterm elections. Already, many GOP lawmakers face constituents back home incensed over the prospect of changes to health-care benefits that affect millions. (Peterson, Hackman and Radnofsky, 5/3)

The Associated Press: GOP Revives Struggling Health Care Bill And Plans House Vote
Passage would also send it to an uncertain fate in the Senate, where some Republicans consider the House measure too harsh. Polls have shown Obama's much-maligned law has actually gained in popularity as the debate over a replacement health care program has accelerated. "House Republicans are going to tattoo this moral monstrosity to their foreheads, and the American people will hold them accountable," said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. (Fram and Werner, 5/4)

Bloomberg: GOP Sets Do-Or-Die Vote To Deliver On Obamacare Repeal Promise 
Even if the bill manages to pass the House, it faces a very tough road in the Senate. At least eight Senate Republicans are strongly opposed to different elements of the measure, which also faces potential procedural hurdles. Representative Alcee Hastings, a Democrat from Florida, warned Republicans during a House Rules Committee meeting to expect changes to the bill if it is taken up in the Senate. “I think they take health security a little more seriously and it’s a more moderate body than we are, and so you can reasonably expect that when you pass this tomorrow on the slimmest of margins, you shall not see it again, and you will not see it in the form that it’s in,” Hastings said Wednesday night. (House and Edgerton 5/4)

The Hill: House To Vote Thursday On ObamaCare Repeal 
The amendment released Wednesday night listed as co-sponsors four lawmakers who were either undecided or had previously planned to vote no on the bill. It's unclear if their co-sponsorship means California Reps. David Valadao, Jeff Denham and Steve Knight, and Iowa Rep. David Young are now willing to vote 'yes.' (Sullivan and Hellmann, 5/3)

The Hill: GOP Rushing To Vote On Healthcare Without Analysis Of Changes
House Republicans are once again fast-tracking consideration of their ObamaCare replacement bill without knowing the full impact of the legislation they’ll vote on Thursday. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is not expected to have completed its analysis detailing the effects of the latest changes to the legislation overhauling the nation’s healthcare system in time for the Thursday vote. (Sullivan and Marcos, 5/3)

The Hill: Congressional Exemption From GOP Healthcare Plan To Be Addressed Separately 
As Republicans rush to vote on their latest ObamaCare repeal-and-replace plan, it appears to still include a waiver exempting members of Congress and their staffs from losing the healthcare bill's popular provisions. House GOP leaders worked Wednesday night to fast-track consideration of their ObamaCare replacement bill without posting the bill text and without a Congressional Budget Office analysis detailing the effects of the latest changes to the legislation. (Beavers, 5/3)

CQ HealthBeat: Panel Approves Rule For House Health Care Bill
The House Rules Committee cleared a path Wednesday night for Republicans to bring their health care bill back to the floor, giving the GOP a second shot at passing the Trump administration's overhaul after a major setback in March. The committee approved a rule (H Res 308) for the bill (HR 1628) in an 8-3 vote, split along party lines. The rule would incorporate three amendments into the base GOP health bill and also provide for a closed rule for consideration of a related measure (HR 2192). (Young, 5/3)

The Hill: In Senate, Pessimism Over ObamaCare Repeal
Republican senators say they don’t see a way to get healthcare reform over the finish line, even if the House passes a bill this week. A senior GOP senator said the chances of getting 51 votes for legislation based on the House healthcare bill are less than 1 in 5. The senator also put the chances that the House bill will meet Senate budgetary rules preventing a filibuster at less than 1 in 5, meaning portions of the legislation would have to be removed. (Bolton, 5/4)

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