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After Capitalizing On Antipathy Against Health Law, E&C Chairman Now Focusing On ‘Repair And Rebuild’

KHN Morning Briefing

Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., has taken over the Energy and Commerce Committee, a role in which he’ll be required to steer Republicans’ efforts to replace the health law. Meanwhile, incoming Vice President Mike Pence says Donald Trump is getting “very close” to a health care plan, and Republicans look to avoid any YouTube moments that could undermine their messaging for replacement.

A Conundrum For Both Sides Of The Aisle: Covering Sick People Costs A Whole Lot Of Money

KHN Morning Briefing

As Republicans navigate their way through crafting a replacement plan for the health law, they are going to run into the same question that plagued the Democrats: how to pay for the sickest Americans. Meanwhile, media outlets cover the other issues Republicans face as they tackle the latter part of repeal and replace.

For One Pa. Couple, Voting For Trump Meant Relief From ‘Insane’ Insurance Costs

KHN Morning Briefing

The Schultzes made too much money for subsidies to help them, but not enough to be able to afford the high cost of health insurance when premiums spiked this year. In other health law news, lobbyists scramble to take advantage of the new landscape as repeal looms, rural hospitals prepare to be hit hard if there’s no replacement in sight, and Tim Kaine wants to rebrand Obamacare.

The Worst That Could Happen: Industry Braces For Repeal’s Possibly ‘Devastating’ Consequences

KHN Morning Briefing

It’s “going to be like that slow-moving tsunami that we know is coming, and we can watch it and try to prepare for it — but in the aftermath of the tsunami, there’s devastating loss that we never could have planned for,” said Heidi Gartland, vice president for community affairs and government relations at Cleveland-based University Hospitals Health System.

Hospitals To Bear Financial Brunt Of Obamacare Alternative Policy Experiments

KHN Morning Briefing

USA Today reports on the impact rural hospitals have already experienced in states that did not expand Medicaid, and on the expected challenges facilities will face nationwide with future health care changes. The Connecticut Mirror looks at how those anticipated change could also affect the uninsured.

Republicans To Focus On Access Instead Of Universal Coverage In Repeal Plans

KHN Morning Briefing

While many health law advocates are focusing on the millions of people who will be vulnerable to losing coverage if the legislation is dismantled, Republicans say their focus is on making sure people who want insurance can get it — not making sure everyone has it. Meanwhile, Harry Reid warns that people will die if the law is rolled back, and the 27 percent of Americans younger than 65 who have preexisting conditions make their voices heard on social media.

If Obamacare Requirement On Preexisting Conditions Is Rolled Back, 52 Million Could Be Uninsurable

KHN Morning Briefing

Before the health law, insurers could deny coverage or charge higher rates based on an individual-plan applicant’s health history. If that were true again today, 52 million Americans have a medical condition that could jeopardize their insurance, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis. (KHN is an editorially independent program of the foundation.)

‘Akin To Armageddon’: How Repealing Health Law Could Deal Major Blow To Mental Health Care

KHN Morning Briefing

If the law is dismantled it could wipe out benefits and protections for millions of Americans with mental illnesses. In other news, advocates launch a campaign to try to save the Affordable Care Act, the acting CMS administrator asks lawmakers to work to fix, rather than scrap the law entirely, and actuaries add their voice to a growing list of those concerned about repeal.

Senate’s To-Do List For Day One: Repeal Health Law

KHN Morning Briefing

The rest of the details are still murky, though, following a meeting between Vice President-elect Mike Pence and Republican leadership. Meanwhile, Senate Democrats have one message: Bring it on. “They don’t know what to do. They’re like the dog that caught the bus,” Sen. Chuck Schumer says.