KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

Democrats To GOP: Give Us Subsidies And We’ll Give You $15B For Military Spending

Those with information on the spending negotiations say Democrats are eyeing military spending as a potential compromise to get money for the "insurer bailouts" that Republicans have been targeting for years. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times and KHN offer looks at just what exactly those subsidies are.

Morning Consult: Fate Of ACA Payments Unclear In Government Spending Bill
Extending the border wall with Mexico may not force the government to shut down at midnight on Friday, but one more contentious issue still could: What to do about payments to insurance companies. The White House has wobbled on its demands to include funding for the border wall in a must-pass spending bill this week, but lawmakers still disagree about whether funding for cost-sharing reduction payments to insurance companies should be included. (McIntire and Yokley, 4/25)

Roll Call: With Trump’s Wall Off The Table, Obamacare Takes Center Stage In Shutdown Showdown
Talks about averting a government shutdown progressed Tuesday after funding for building the wall between the U.S. and Mexico fell off the negotiating table, but lawmakers still had to work through a thicket of issues — including health care funding and family planning. They have until midnight Friday to reach a deal before government funding runs out. ... Republicans and Democrats were still debating how to address the need for cost-sharing subsidy payments to insurance companies to help lower-income individuals pay for the health care under the 2010 health care overhaul. The House GOP still has a lawsuit over the legality of the payments, which goes back to the administration of President Barack Obama, but some Senate Republicans were reluctant to turn off the spigot. (Lesniewski, 4/26)

NBC News: GOP Drops Money for Trump’s Border Wall From Government Funding
The next big item for negotiators is funding for a subsidy in the Affordable Care Act that helps low-income people afford health care. The Trump administration has indicated they want to withhold funding — a move that would further destabilize the insurance market, which Trump says would help speed the collapse of Obamacare. (Caldwell, 5/25)

Los Angeles Times: Obamacare 101 — What's The Big Debate Over Health Insurance Cost-Sharing Subsidies?
As President Trump and congressional leaders scramble to put together a spending bill to keep the government from shutting down at the end of this week, negotiations could turn on the fate of an arcane, but critical part of the Affordable Care Act: cost-sharing reduction payments, or CSRs. If you’ve never heard of this piece of the Obamacare puzzle, here’s a rundown of what they are and why they’re getting pulled into Trump’s first budget fight. (Levey, 4/26)

Kaiser Health News: 5 Things To Know About The Health Issue That Could Shut Down The Government
Congress must pass a bill this week to keep most of the government running beyond Friday, when a government spending bill runs out. It won’t be easy. The debate over a new spending bill focuses on an esoteric issue affecting the Affordable Care Act. The question is whether Congress will pass — and President Donald Trump will sign — a bill that also funds subsidies for lower-income people who purchase health insurance under the law. (Rovner, 4/26)

And even if a shutdown can't be avoided —

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.