GOP Search For Health Law Replacement Is Gaining Momentum
Fueled by hopes that the Supreme Court will invalidate Obamacare health insurance subsidies, the legislative scramble has begun. A number of concepts are being floated and freshman Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., has introduced a bill to provide a "COBRA-like" bridge to temporarily help those people who would lose tax credits.
The New York Times:
As Supreme Court Weighs Health Law, G.O.P. Plans To Replace It
The legal campaign to destroy President Obama’s health care law may be nearing its conclusion, but as the Supreme Court deliberates over the law’s fate, the search for a replacement by Republican lawmakers is finally gaining momentum. Senior Republicans in Congress hope that by June, the Supreme Court will invalidate the subsidies that 7.5 million Americans in 34 states have been given to purchase health insurance through the federal Healthcare.gov website. (Weisman, 3/6)
Sasse Sees COBRA-Like 'Bridge' If ACA Subsidies End
Freshman Republican Sen. Ben Sasse has introduced a bill designed to get his party out of the political problems that could arise if the Supreme Court rules against the White House over Obamacare subsidies — without having the GOP embrace the health law. (Haberkorn, 3/5)
The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire:
Politics Counts: Who Wants Congress To Keep Health Subsidies?
The Supreme Court heard arguments in King v. Burwell this week, but lawmakers were listening closely too. The issue before the court is whether citizens of states that are using the federal insurance exchange are eligible for subsidies, amid a dispute over wording in the law. If the court finds those people aren’t eligible, more than seven million people in as many as 37 states could lose those supports, making insurance prohibitively expensive. (Chinni, 3/5)
Also on Capitol Hill -
Senate Democrats Push For Medicaid To Cover Birth Control
A group of Senate Democrats on Thursday introduced a bill that would provide free birth control to women enrolled in Medicaid, while also expanding access to preventative services nationwide. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the top Democrat on the Senate health committee, said the bill would allow more women “to be in the driver’s seat about their own health care.” (Ferris, 3/5)
In related news -
Unplanned Pregnancies Cost Taxpayers $21B Each Year
More than two-thirds of women with unplanned pregnancies rely on public assistance, costing $51 billion each year, according to a new study. Unplanned births are almost twice as likely to require public assistance than planned births, according to new research from the nonprofit Guttmacher Institute. (Ferris, 3/5)