KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

No Deal Yet, But GOP Offer On Debt Limit Raises Hopes

Speaker John Boehner’s offer represented give on the part of Republicans, who had been insisting on cuts to the federal health care law as the price for reopening government and extending the debt limit. While Boehner proposed moving only to raise the debt limit, discussions broadened to include efforts to reopen the government in exchange for entitlement cuts. In the past, President Barack Obama has refused to consider those unless Republicans agree to raise revenues.

The New York Times: No Quick Deal, But Offer By G.O.P. On Debt Shifts The Tone
Many House Republicans, leaving a closed-door party caucus earlier Thursday that at times grew contentious, said they would support their leadership’s short-term debt limit proposal. But they said they would do so only if Mr. Obama agreed to negotiate a broader deficit reduction deal, with big savings from entitlement programs. The president has insisted he will not agree to significant reductions in projected Medicare and Medicaid spending — even his own tentative proposals — unless Republicans agree to raise revenues by curbing tax breaks for corporations and wealthy individuals. And Mr. Boehner in recent days reaffirmed the party’s anti-tax stance, which suggests that future talks could founder (Calmes and Parker, 10/10).

Los Angeles Times: GOP Plan To Extend Debt Limit Raises Hope Of End To Impasse
The president's healthcare law, which Republicans spent weeks trying to block or delay as a condition of approving any funding bills this fall, was "not discussed," Rogers said. The House could vote as early as Friday, but both houses planned weekend sessions. The Treasury Department says the debt ceiling needs to be raised by Oct. 17 (Mascaro and Memoli, 10/10).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: No Deal Yet, But House GOP, White House Seek End To Debt Limit, Government Shutdown Battles
Boehner’s offer represented give on the part of Republicans, who had been insisting on cuts to Obama’s 2010 health care law and other programs as the price for reopening government and extending the debt limit. But they claimed victory on one front, noting that they were in negotiations with a president who had said repeatedly there would be none until the government was open and default prevented. The speaker’s plan — and positive though unenthusiastic words about it from White House spokesman Jay Carney — seemed to spark a good day in the financial world (10/11).

The Washington Post: Competing Plan Emerges In Senate To End Shutdown, Raise Debt Limit For 3 Months
The package was being assembled by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Me.) and has attracted the interest of Senate Democrats, sparking the first bipartisan negotiations since the stand-off began in early September. … Senate Democrats were intrigued by Collins’ proposal, but unhappy with its demand for Democratic concessions. Those include repeal of a tax on medical devices needed to fund the new health care initiative and new income verification procedures for people who receive tax subsidies to buy health insurance on the law’s new exchanges (Montgomery, 10/10).

The Wall Street Journal: Obama, GOP Open Talks Over Temporary Debt Fix
A new poll shows that Republicans are bearing the brunt of public outrage over the budget impasse. The Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found 53% of Americans blamed the GOP for the shutdown, compared with 31% who blamed Mr. Obama. The Republican Party's image has slumped to its lowest level in Journal/NBC polling, which dates to 1989, with more than twice as many people holding a negative image of the GOP as a positive one. Until now, Mr. Obama had refused to negotiate until the government was reopened and the debt ceiling raised. Republicans, in turn, said those steps must be paired with a deficit-reduction plan and changes to the 2010 health care law that they knew Mr. Obama wouldn't accept. While Republicans on Thursday initially proposed moving only to raise the debt limit, discussions broadened to include efforts to reopen the federal government (Hook and O’Connor, 10/10).

CNN: Republican Congressman: Defunding Obamacare Is 'Off The Table'
There are reportedly enough votes to pass a “clean” funding bill to refill federal coffers – one that would not include big Republican demands that the president’s signature healthcare initiative be defunded or delayed. In an op-ed for USA Today, Republican Rep. James Lankford wrote, "Republicans have asked for two things on Obamacare and one thing on the debt ceiling." Lankford did not mention defunding Obamacare. "That's currently off the table now," Lankford said in an interview on "The Lead with Jake Tapper," referring specifically to the debt ceiling deal (10/10).

The New York Times: Ryan Is Again In The Forefront For The G.O.P.
Mr. Ryan, 43, has immense credibility with conservatives for his "Path to Prosperity" budget, which proposed politically risky Medicare changes and deep tax cuts. Moderates see Mr. Ryan, who has broken with some conservatives over immigration, as a lawmaker with some flexibility. In many respects, his standing exceeds that of the party’s titular leader, Speaker John A. Boehner. Perhaps most important, Democrats believe that when Mr. Ryan drafts a plan, he can actually deliver the votes. They hold no such confidence in Mr. Boehner (Weisman, 10/10).

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