GOP Debates Using Budget ‘Reconciliation’ To Repeal Health Law
Some inside the party view the move as useless since President Barack Obama would veto the measure. In the meantime, the GOP also readies a response to the Supreme Court's ruling on the legality of some health law insurance subsidies, and a Medicare adviser calls again for a permanent 'doc fix.'
The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire:
GOP's Top Priority: Passing A Budget Resolution
Republicans are still wrestling with how to use a contentious procedural budget tool known as “reconciliation” that enables lawmakers to attach related measures to the budget and pass them as well with a simple majority. Some lawmakers view reconciliation as an opportunity to try to repeal the Affordable Care Act, while others think that would be a waste, given that President Barack Obama would veto any attempt to undo the health law. Overhauling the tax code could be a better use of the procedure, some Republicans have suggested. (Peterson, 1/15)
GOP Plotting Response To Obamacare Scotus Case
House Republicans are crafting an Obamacare backup plan in light of a Supreme Court case this summer that could strike down a key piece of the health care law. The case, King v. Burwell, was a central topic at the House GOP’s closed-door health care meeting during its retreat in Hershey, Pa., according to an aide attending the session. (Ferris, 1/15)
Medicare Adviser Renews Call For Permanent 'Doc Fix'
Nearing the end of his term, Congress' top adviser on Medicare exhorted lawmakers to put an end to a widely disparaged budget mechanism that routinely threatens to slash doctors' pay from the big government health program. Medicare Payment Advisory Commission Glenn Hackbarth, who will leave the post this year, noted that Congress has frequently overcome in other instances the same hurdle that has blocked a so-called permanent "doc fix." A bipartisan effort to overhaul the system of payments was scuttled last year due to disagreements over whether and how to offset its costs. (Young, 1/15)