KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

With Holy Grail Of Repeal In Sight, Leadership Gears Up To Muscle Bills Through Despite Opposition

Although a large chunk of their own party is threatening to block their efforts, Republican lawmakers are starting this week to actually put their repeal promises into action.

The Associated Press: Republican Health Care Push Coming; Success A Question Mark
Republicans seem set to start muscling legislation through Congress reshaping the country’s health care system after seven years of saber rattling. Don’t confuse that with GOP unity or assume that success is guaranteed. Unresolved disputes over taxes and Medicaid rage and conservatives complaining that Republican proposals don’t go far enough could undermine the effort, or at least make GOP leaders’ lives difficult. (Fram, 3/4)

Los Angeles Times: Facing Big Political Hurdles, House Republicans Ready An Ambitious Legislative Push To Repeal Obamacare
House Republicans, despite stiff political headwinds, are readying an ambitious push this week to begin moving legislation to replace major parts of the Affordable Care Act, a crucial test of their ability to fulfill one of their party’s main campaign promises. The plan marks the first time GOP lawmakers will do this since Obamacare was enacted seven years ago and will provide an early indication of whether President Trump can rally his party’s members of Congress, many of whom are anxious about how to repeal and replace the healthcare law. (Levey and Mascaro, 3/5)

The Hill: Obstacles Ahead As GOP Begins ObamaCare Repeal
Republicans who have vowed for years to “repeal and replace” ObamaCare are now seeking to turn their campaign pledge into reality, with markups of legislation potentially beginning this week. With narrow majorities in the House and Senate, Republicans won’t be able to pass healthcare legislation unless they remain united. That could prove difficult, as there are several knotty issues raised by the repeal effort that threaten to push lawmakers into opposing camps. (Hellmann, 3/6)

Reuters: U.S. Republicans Expected To Unveil Healthcare Bill This Week
Republican U.S. lawmakers expect to unveil this week the text of long-awaited legislation to repeal and replace the Obamacare healthcare law, one of President Donald Trump's top legislative priorities, a senior Republican congressional aide said on Sunday. Since taking office in January, Trump has pressed his fellow Republicans who control Congress to act quickly to dismantle former Democratic President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act and pass a plan to replace it, but lawmakers in the party have differed on the specifics. (Cornwell, 3/6)

The Wall Street Journal: Conservative Groups Jeopardize GOP Plan To Repeal Affordable Care Act
Conservative groups are raising alarms over central provisions of the House GOP’s emerging plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, pushing lawmakers to buck House Speaker Paul Ryan and oppose the Republican blueprint. The groups—including Heritage Action, the Club for Growth and Freedom Partners, an organization funded by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch—are troubled by the notion of refundable tax credits to help consumers pay for health insurance, a central tenet of Mr. Ryan’s plan that President Donald Trump appeared to endorse in his address to Congress last week. (Hackman, 3/5)

The Hill: Ryan Slams Paul For 'Publicity Stunt' Search For ObamaCare Bill 
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Friday blasted Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) hunt for House Republicans’ closely held draft bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare as a “publicity stunt.” “I like Rand, but I think he’s looking for a publicity stunt here,” Ryan told Fox News' Bret Baier. “The things he described are just not accurate.” Paul tweeted on Thursday that the ObamaCare legislation was being kept under “lock and key” in a “secure location.” He then went to the House side of the Capitol to try and enter the room where he said the bill was located — with a copier in tow to distribute the draft. (Hagen, 3/3)

The Hill: What We Know About The GOP's Healthcare Bill
While final legislation has yet to be unveiled, an outline and a leaked draft from last month give a general idea of where House Republicans are headed. Their bill would dismantle the central elements of ObamaCare, including its subsidies to help people afford coverage, its expansion of Medicaid, and its mandates and taxes. Democrats warn the bill would jeopardize coverage for the 20 million people who have gained it from ObamaCare, while Republicans argue the health law has failed and needs to be replaced with a less intrusive system. (Sullivan, 3/4)

The Hill: GOP Rep: Some People 'Just Don't Want Healthcare'
Some people “just don’t want health care,” according to Rep. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), who cited the Bible while arguing against former President Obama's Medicaid expansion. “Just like Jesus said, ‘The poor will always be with us,’” Marshall, a doctor and freshman lawmaker, told Stat News on Friday. ... Marshall argued that ObamaCare’s expansion of Medicaid had not helped. “Just, like, homeless people. … I think just morally, spiritually, socially, [some people] just don’t want health care,” he said. (Sullivan, 3/3)

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