KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

With Budget, GOP Lawmakers Renew Push To Undo Health Law

The budget plan for 2014 being advanced by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., includes a proposal to give states more authority over Medicaid. Meanwhile, the bill being considered by the Senate to fund the federal government through the end of this year does not include the funds for the exchanges that the administration wanted.

The Washington Post: Ryan Calls For Both Obamacare Repeal And Finding 'Common Ground' In Budget Fight
Past House Republican efforts to repeal the president's health-care law failed, and the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the law last year. Ryan's budget proposal, which includes controversial proposals for giving states more authority over Medicaid, is sure to encounter stiff resistance from Democrats in Congress who are committed to protecting Obamacare. That push back is likely to complicate Obama's efforts this week to advance a dialogue he reopened with Republicans last week on reaching a grand bargain on budget cuts and entitlement reform (Brown and Sullivan, 3/10).

Roll Call: Budget Chairman Ryan Projects Balance Through $5 Trillion In Spending Cuts, Medicare Shift
The House Republican budget will balance the budget over 10 years in part by cutting spending by about $5 trillion and turning Medicare into a premium support program, Rep. Paul D. Ryan said Sunday. The Wisconsin Republican, whose previous budget resolutions have been signposts for GOP economic policy priorities, said the fiscal 2014 plan that he will release Tuesday will not need to make dramatic changes from previous proposals because of improved economic circumstances (Ethridge, 3/10).

Los Angeles Times: Republicans Resume Effort To Repeal 'Obamacare'
Republicans in Congress are renewing their political assault on the nation's new healthcare law, trying to repeal President Obama's signature domestic achievement as part of the next battle over the federal budget (Masacaro, 3/10).

CNN: Ryan Says House GOP Budget Will Include Obamacare Repeal
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan says the budget he will unveil this week counts on a repeal of President Barack Obama's signature health reform law, a position which is unacceptable to many Democrats and unlikely to become law. Asked on "Fox News Sunday" about the political reality that a repeal of Obamacare is unlikely, Ryan responded, "Well, we believe it should, that's the point. That's what budgeting is all about. … It's about making tough choices to fix our country's problems. We believe that Obamacare is a program that will not work." The Wisconsin Republican has taken aim at the program in previous budget proposals and on the 2012 campaign trail as the GOP vice presidential nominee (Wallace, 3/10).

Modern Healthcare: New Ryan Plan Sticks To Familiar Themes: ACA Repeal, Medicare Premium Support
Offering a sneak preview of the 2014 budget he will propose this week, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said on the TV program Fox News Sunday that his fiscal plan—similar to his fiscal 2012 and 2013 blueprints—will promote repealing the 2010 healthcare law and transforming Medicare into a premium-support system. After Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace confirmed with Ryan that the House GOP plan again assumes overturning the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Wallace told Ryan: "That's not going to happen." Ryan didn't flinch when he replied that House Republicans think that it should (Zigmond, 3/10).

The Hill: Rep. Paul Ryan: House Budget Will Assume The Repeal Of 'ObamaCare'
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Sunday said he will not back down from the battle to repeal the 2010 Affordable Care Act even though some Republicans think the party should move on. Ryan dismissed criticism that House Republicans have virtually no chance of dismantling the signature legislative accomplishment of Obama’s first term and their efforts might be better expended elsewhere (Bolton, 3/10).

Meanwhile, the bill now before Congress to fund spending for the rest of 2013 has sparked some concerns.

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: GOP Senators Seek To Cut Health Law Funding
This week, the Senate is expected to consider – and amend — House-passed legislation that would fund the government through the end of the fiscal year. The bill did not include $949 million in additional funding that the Office of Management and Budget requested for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which is overseeing much of the roll-out of the health law. … While the OMB request did not specify what the $949 million would fund, 'it was pretty well known' that the money was to be used to implement the health law's exchanges, said Matt Dennis, a spokesman for Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee" (Carey, 3/11).

Politico: Senate Bill Won’t Include President Obama Priorities
Paying a price for his indifference, President Barack Obama is expected to get little or none of the extra money for health care and Wall Street reforms that the administration has been seeking in a six-month stopgap spending bill coming to the Senate floor this week. ... The White House had wanted $949 million added within the Department of Health and Human Services to help lay the groundwork for setting up state health-care exchanges to begin enrollment next fall (Rogers, 3/10).

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