KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

House GOP Bill Cuts Medicaid To Protect Military Spending

The budget plan, developed by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R- Wis., targets a number of Obama administration domestic initiatives. It trims an estimated $261 billion in domestic spending over the next decade and undoes elements of the health law.

The New York Times: House Bill Offers Aid Cuts To Save Military Spending
The Republican-led House this week will lay bare the choice between social programs and Pentagon spending in an age of austerity when it takes up legislation to slice $261 billion from food stamps, Medicaid, social services and other programs for struggling Americans over the next decade to stave off more than $50 billion in military spending cuts scheduled to take effect next year (Weisman, 5/7).

The Washington Post: Republicans Seek To Add More In Defense Spending
Another issue to watch is the Obama plan for increasing fees for military retirees, both for working retirees' health-care programs and for their drug purchases. The authorizers would bar any increases or new fees but propose a pilot program on pharmacy purchases. Some $1 billion is involved, and the GOP appropriators have yet to decide the issue (Pincus, 5/8).

The Wall Street Journal: House Bill Shields Defense From Cuts
House Republicans, seeking to prevent defense-spending cuts at the end of the year, advanced a plan that would instead reduce spending on health-care programs, food aid and other major domestic initiatives of the Obama administration. The bill developed by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) would cut about $261 billion in domestic spending over the next decade and roll back portions of the 2010 health-care law and the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul (Hook and Paletta, 5/7).

Politico: GOP: Shield Pentagon, Cut Poverty Programs
The bill reported by the House Budget Committee on Monday evening is the most serious Republican attempt yet to forestall those cuts for defense but only by substituting alternative domestic savings. … Lashing back at Obama, Republicans have targeted his health care and financial markets reforms as major targets in the new savings package, totaling over $310 billion over 10 years. But tens of billions would also come from food stamps, Medicaid and child tax credit refunds — a major shift of resources from the social safety net to the Pentagon (Rogers, 5/7).

Politico Pro: Lawmakers Debate Cuts To Kids' Health
Early debate over the House Budget Committee’s markup of its plan to replace the sequester was dominated by the way the package would affect children’s enrollment in health insurance. The debate suggested that Democrats may be eyeing the effect on kids’ coverage as another line of attack on the GOP budget as the election approaches. Democrats say the sequester replacement plan would lop 300,000 kids off the Medicaid and CHIP rolls within three years, while the sequester protects children’s enrollment…Last month, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that repeal of health reform's maintenance of effort requirements — included in the GOP reconciliation plan — would reduce Medicaid and CHIP enrollment by about 300,000 people in 2015 (Cheney and Millman, 4/7).

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