KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

GOP Push To Defund Health Law Spurs Capitol Hill Debate

During the weekend talk shows, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, acknowledged that he does not have the votes to be successful and that he will need the help of significant grassroots pressure to win the battle.

The Hill: Cruz: Political 'Tsunami' Needed To Win Fight To Defund ObamaCare
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) said Sunday it would take a political "tsunami" of grassroots pressure to win his fight to defund President Obama's healthcare law in the coming budget showdown. "It is going to take a tsunami, and I am going to do everything I can to encourage that tsunami," Cruz said on CNN's "State of the Union" (Berman, 8/25).

CNN: Sen. Cruz to Candy Crowley On Defunding Obamacare: "We Do Not Have The Votes Right Now"
Today on CNN's State of the Union with Candy Crowley, Sen. Ted Cruz joined the program to discuss his effort to defund Obamacare; former Gov. Howard Dean and Heritage president Jim DeMint spoke about the 2014 election and beyond. Plus, Crowley’s conversation with Congressman John Lewis on the 50th anniversary of the march on Washington (8/25).

Fox News: Cruz Pressed Ahead With Defunding ObamaCare, Says It Will Take A 'Tsunami' Of Support
The race to stop ObamaCare before Americans can officially sign up this fall for the government-backed health insurance intensified Sunday with two of the movement’s biggest champions confident they will succeed but acknowledging it will take a "tsunami" of support (8/25).

Health News Florida: FL GOP Splits Over Shutdown
At least eight Florida Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have called for "defunding" the Affordable Care Act during budget talks in September, according to a list on a conservative blog. Nine Florida Republican Representatives were still listed as holdouts on the Americans for Limited Government website as of Friday morning (Gentry, 8/23).

Bloomberg: Obama Aide Burwell Rejects Year’s Delay Of Health Law
White House Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell rejected delaying the health-care law as a way to get a budget deal with Congress and voiced optimism that talks with lawmakers would avoid a government shutdown. A demand by more than 90 Republican lawmakers to withhold funds for carrying out the law set to take effect Jan. 1 has drawn fire from other party members (Rowley, 8/24).

Fox News: Push To Defund ObamaCare Big Test For DeMint At Heritage And Rest Of Republicans
South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint unexpectedly quit Congress this winter, saying essentially that he could better advance the conservative cause as president of the Heritage Foundation think tank than in Congress. Roughly eight months later, DeMint has no doubt pressed Congress, and House Republicans in particular, to take a conservative stance on such issues as the Farm Bill and President Obama’s health care law (Weber, 8/25).

The Hill also takes a look at how some of those who helped write the law are now involved in lobbying efforts.

The Hill: ObamaCare's Architects Reap Windfall As Washington Lobbyists
ObamaCare has become big business for an elite network of Washington lobbyists and consultants who helped shape the law from the inside. More than 30 former administration officials, lawmakers and congressional staffers who worked on the healthcare law have set up shop on K Street since 2010 (Wilson, 8/25).

In addition, Politico takes a look at some of the health law's political dynamics, including the role of faith organizations -

Politico: The Holy War Over Obamacare
As in politics, the religious world is riven by the health law. Sympathetic faith organizations that see an opportunity to live up to their God-given mission to aid the poor are stepping up to White House efforts to get people covered. Evangelicals and conservative congregations view Obamacare as an affront to their values and personal freedoms. Each side is mobilizing its flock — both evangelicals and liberal denominations are using a different kind of bully pulpit to build support for their point of view (Cheney, 8/23).

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