KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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White House Tries To Push Congress To Try Again On Obamacare Repeal

One key Trump administration target is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), but the president is also keeping up his attacks on Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), whose no vote last month was pivotal to preventing Senate passage of any legislation to undo the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) is meeting with White House officials on his repeal-and-replace plan.

The Hill: White House To Pressure McConnell On ObamaCare
White House officials are exploring ways to pressure Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to return to the controversial issue of ObamaCare repeal when the Senate returns to work in September. President Trump, who has repeatedly criticized McConnell in public, wants to hold the leader’s feet to the fire on the issue, say White House sources. (Bolton, 8/16)

The Wall Street Journal: Trump Targets McCain Over Health Vote
President Donald Trump continued his attacks against individual Senate Republicans, criticizing Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) and his pivotal health-care vote at a news conference Tuesday at Trump Tower in New York City. A week after Mr. Trump knocked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) over the Senate’s failure to pass any legislation dismantling and replacing the Affordable Care Act, the president took aim at Mr. McCain, now in his sixth Senate term. (Peterson, 8/15)

Arizona Republic: A Question About Sen. John McCain Sets Off President Donald Trump
President Donald Trump is still clearly irritated that his on-again, off-again foil Sen. John McCain derailed the GOP health-care bill that Trump backed. At a Tuesday news conference, Trump was asked about McCain's defense of H.R. McMaster, Trump's national-security adviser, from attacks from alt-right critics. ... Trump responded with a non-sequitur. "Senator McCain? You mean the one who voted against 'Obamacare'?” Trump shot back. "You mean Senator McCain who voted against us getting good health care?"(Nowicki, 8/15)

The Hill: GOP Senator Meeting With White House On New ObamaCare Plan 
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) said he's meeting with the White House and the Trump administration "two or three times per week" on a plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare. Cassidy has teamed up with Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.) on a new proposal that would essentially block-grant ObamaCare funding to the states while repealing the law's individual and employer mandates. (Hellmann, 8/15)

In other Capitol Hill news related to the Trump administration -

Stat: Congressional Democrats May Form Expert Panel On Trump's Mental Health
Three congressional Democrats have asked a psychiatrist at Yale School of Medicine to consult with them about forming an expert panel to offer the legislators advice on assessing President Trump’s mental health. Yale’s Dr. Bandy Lee told STAT that over the last few weeks members of Congress or their staff have asked her to discuss how members might convene psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health professionals “to review the president’s mental health, and review it on a periodic basis.” The closed meeting is expected to take place in September, she said. (Begley, 8/16)

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