KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

GOP Reconsidering Strategy On Health Law Fight

House Republicans are seeking to shift public attention from a government shutdown over the health law to problems in the marketplace website with hearings on the issue. But GOP Senate and House leaders do not seem to have a consensus on tactics for their overall efforts on the law.

The New York Times: Republicans, Sensing Weakness In Health Law Rollout, Switch Tactics
Emboldened by the intense public criticism surrounding the rollout of the online insurance exchange, Republicans in Congress are refocusing their efforts from denying funds for the health care law to investigating it (Steinhauer and Pear, 10/23).

Politico: GOP Reconsiders Obamacare Tactics
The stiffest test facing congressional GOP leaders is how to avoid another Obamacare-induced fiscal crisis, which top Republicans say would put their House majority in jeopardy and further deplete the party's uphill chances of capturing control of the Senate. ... Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), whose grip on most Senate Republicans is strong, isn’t mincing words: He says the defund Obamacare movement that led to a government shutdown and near default on U.S. debt was a "tactical error" and "not a smart play." ... But McConnell's bluster is tempered by House Speaker John Boehner. Given the unruly dozens in his House Republican Conference, Boehner has to let the specter of another shutdown and deficit crisis linger (Sherman and Raju, 10/23).

The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire: Boehner Goes Back On Offense Over Health Care
House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio), seeking to move past a failed political strategy that shuttered large parts of the government and sank the party's approval ratings, on Wednesday went back on offense, targeting budget deficits and the new health-care law as problems Republicans could address (Hughes, 10/23).

CNN: GOP: Website Woes Create Fresh Opening To Go After Obamacare
With fresh data and the acknowledgment from President Barack Obama that the web portal to enroll in new health care plans isn't working, Speaker John Boehner and other GOP leaders told House Republicans on Wednesday the website's bumpy rollout gives them an opening to seize public attention. But according to several GOP sources present at the weekly GOP meeting, leaders said they expected the administration would fix those so-called technical "glitches" soon, so House Republicans need to cast the debate more broadly and hone in on the real-world impact that the law is having on Americans (Walsh, 10/23).

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