KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

House Slated To Vote On Health Law Repeal — For The 37th Time

House Republicans have scheduled a vote to undo the health law. This vote marks the 37th time the chamber has considered legislation to repeal, defund or strike all or part of the measure. Meanwhile, The Washington Post fact checks how many pages of regulations exist regarding Obamacare. Also, House and Senate lawmakers continue questioning Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on her search for private funds for the health law's implementation.

The New York Times: House To Vote Yet Again On Repealing Health Care Law
The 37th time won't be the charm. But House Republicans are charging forward anyway this week on a vote to repeal President Obama's signature health care overhaul, which will put the number of times they have tried to eliminate, defund or curtail the law past the three-dozen mark (Peters, 5/14).

The Washington Post's Fact Checker: How Many Pages Of Regulations For 'Obamacare'?
Rep. Richard Hudson this week offered such an astonishing figure — 33,000 pages of "Obamacare" regulations! — that we immediately wanted to know more. But it turns out that Rep. Hudson got a little bit ahead of himself. An aide said that he misspoke and meant to say 13,000 pages. "Whether it is 13,000, 22,000 or 33,000, it is too many," the aide added. But then it turns out that Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has actually tweeted a photograph of this stack of paper. By his math, the Obama administration has issued 20,000 pages of regulations "associated" with the new law (Kessler, 5/15).

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: GOP Raises Concerns About 'Sebelius Shakedown'
Senate GOP leaders Tuesday took issue with Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for soliciting money from private groups to implement the law. Noting the Internal Revenue Service scrutiny of conservative political organizations, the Republicans also said the IRS can’t be trusted to implement the health law (Carey, 5/15).

Fox News: House Committee To Probe Sebelius Soliciting Money For ObamaCare Signups
House Republicans are starting a probe into Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius soliciting donations from companies her agency might regulate, to help sign up uninsured Americans for ObamaCare. Sebelius in recent weeks has asked various charitable foundations, businesses executives, churches and doctors to donate money to nonprofit organizations, such as Enroll America, that are helping to implement President Obama's health care overhaul (5/14).

The Hill: GOP Senators Join Sebelius Investigation
Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee raised questions Tuesday about Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius's push to raise money for a group promoting the Affordable Care Act. Sebelius has asked healthcare stakeholders to contribute to Enroll America, a non-profit group formed to promote the healthcare law and encourage people to sign up for its new coverage options (Baker, 5/14).

National Journal: Search For 'Obamacare' Funding Angers Lawmakers
With money and time running out to implement the president’s health care law, administration officials are looking for funding wherever they can find it—and angering members of Congress along the way. Republicans in Congress are fuming about recent reports that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has been calling private companies—including some that her department regulates—and asking them to help with private efforts to educate the public about the Affordable Care Act (Sanger-Katz, 5/15).

Modern Healthcare: Not-For-Profit Systems Back Support For ACA
If HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was indeed calling healthcare executives to solicit donations, she didn't dial the leaders of some of the largest not-for-profit hospital systems or their national trade group. She didn't need to. Republican lawmakers are gunning for Sebelius over reports that she contacted health industry executives to raise funds for organizations campaigning on behalf of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's insurance expansion. Richard Umbdenstock, the American Hospital Association's president and CEO, said federal health officials did "not call us and didn't have to," because the trade group has separately encouraged hospitals to support Enroll America, an organization created two years ago to promote the Affordable Care Act's coverage push (Evans, 5/14).

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