KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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White House Reportedly Signals To Conservatives That It Could Support Faster Rollback Of Medicaid

Trump administration officials tell CNN that they are willing to accept Republican conservatives' efforts to amend the House health bill to end the Medicaid expansion earlier than the legislation currently seeks.

CNN: In Major Shift, White House Privately Backing Earlier Rollback Of Medicaid Expansion
The White House is privately lining up behind conservative calls to roll back Obamacare's Medicaid expansion sooner than the health care reform bill currently calls for, two senior administration officials and a senior House conservative aide told CNN on Thursday. White House officials are beginning to urge House GOP leadership to include an earlier sunset of the Medicaid expansion funds authorized under Obamacare than the 2020 date set by the current bill. The change comes just days after the bill was unveiled and follows a blitz of activism aimed squarely at the White House and President Donald Trump, who has met with conservative leaders in recent days. (Diamond, 3/9)

The Hill: Conservative Chairman: I'd Back Health Plan With Medicaid Changes
The chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee says that if the House adopted two Medicaid amendments he is pushing, he would vote yes on GOP leadership's ObamaCare repeal bill, and if he got one, he would “lean yes.” Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.) is pushing amendments to move up the end of ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion for new enrollees to 2018 instead of 2020, as it is in the current bill. (Sullivan, 3/9)

Morning Consult: Future of Medicaid Expansion Unclear as House Panels Advance ACA Repeal
A growing number of conservatives support tighter rules for Medicaid in states that chose to expand the federal program for low-income Americans under the ACA, but the proposal could alienate moderate Republicans. The Republican Study Committee on Thursday formally announced its support for an amendment filed by Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) that would freeze expansion enrollment at the enhanced match rate in those states at the end of this year, as well as one from Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) that would institute work requirements for able-bodied, childless adults on Medicaid. The Griffith amendment was never offered in the committee. (McIntire, 3/9)

NewsHour: Medicaid Cuts Are ‘Going To Affect Everyone,’ Insurance CEO Says
Dr. Mario Molina of Molina Healthcare, an insurance executive whose business is focused on Medicaid patients, is concerned about the way the Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act will not only affect patients on Medicaid, but cause major economic ripples for states and the health care system. Molina joins William Brangham to discuss what he sees as at stake. (3/9)

Modern Healthcare: GOP Medicaid Overhaul Will Hit Insurers Where It Hurts
The Affordable Care Act's insurance marketplace has been tough on payors looking to make a profit on that business, but Medicaid expansion funneled millions of new members to insurers, boosting revenue. That soon may change. Legislation passed in two House committees this week would repeal the ACA and essentially rollback Medicaid expansion. That could result in 4 million to 6 million beneficiaries losing insurance between 2020 and 2024, slashing health insurers' premiums and, by proxy, earnings. (Livingston, 3/9)

Modern Healthcare: Concerns Grow Over ACA Repeal Bill's Medicaid Provisions 
A national association representing hospitals — major employers in many districts — wrote lawmakers complaining about the bill's cuts in Medicaid and other programs. It said the bill is likely to increase the number of uninsured Americans, adding, "We ask Congress to protect our patients." Groups representing public, children's, Catholic and other hospitals also expressed opposition. America's Health Insurance Plans, representing insurers, praised the legislation's elimination of health industry taxes but warned that proposed Medicaid changes "could result in unnecessary disruptions in the coverage and care beneficiaries depend on." (Dickson, 3/9)

The Hill: States Warn Millions Could Lose Coverage Under ObamaCare Replacement
Democratic and Republican officials outside of Washington are warning Congress that millions will lose healthcare coverage if the House GOP’s proposal to replace ObamaCare becomes law. Almost all governors and state executive officers who object to the replacement hail from states that opted to accept federal funding to expand Medicaid under ObamaCare. The Republican replacement would roll back funding for the Medicaid expansion, forcing states to either shoulder the billions of dollars in costs themselves or drop new Medicaid recipients from the rolls. (Wilson, 3/9)

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