KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

House Approves Stopgap Funding Bill — Heating Up The Fight To Defund Obamacare

As House Republicans celebrated their win, they also ramped up pressure on Senate GOP lawmakers to take up the push to derail the health law.

USA Today: House Passes Spending Bill That Defunds 'Obamacare'
The House voted 230-189 along party lines Friday to approve a stopgap spending bill to fund the federal government through mid-December, but it is facing certain defeat in the Senate because it includes language aiming to dismantle President Obama's health care law (Davis, 9/20).

The Washington Post: House Passes GOP Spending Plan That Defunds Obamacare
The legislation would fund federal agencies at an annualized rate of more than $986 billion but would also leave in place automatic spending cuts known as sequestration, set to take effect in January. It would include language to prohibit any funding going to implementing the health-care law and, additionally, authorize the Treasury to pay some bills and not others in the event that no deal is reached in October on increasing the country’s debt limit. House Republican leaders declared victory Friday after the vote, and they immediately ramped up pressure on the Senate to take up the fight (O'Keefe, 9/20).

CNN: House GOP Launches Shutdown Battle By Voing To Defund Obamacare
With one vote on Friday, the Republican-led House launched the latest spending battle in Congress -- one that could bring a government shutdown in less than two weeks. By a 230-189 vote almost strictly on party lines, the House passed a short-term government spending plan that would eliminate all funding for Obamacare (Cohen, 9/20).

NBC News: House Votes To Fund Government, Gut Obamacare
The vote marked an opening gambit by the GOP just 10 days before the deadline at which the government will run out of money, causing a myriad of federal services to cease. The provision gutting health care reform was intended to mollify conservatives who have vowed not to fund the government unless the landmark law is eradicated (O'Brien, 9/20).

CBS News: House Passes Bill Funding Government, Defunding Obamacare
Boehner described the vote as a "victory" for the American people, calling Obamacare a "train wreck" that is "hurting our constituents," and pushing the Senate to approve the House bill (Miller, 9/20).

The Wall Street Journal: House Passes Funding Bill Tied To Health Law
Senate Democrats are planning to strip out provisions that would eliminate funding for the health law. Members of both parties say that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) has enough votes to do so, although the process may entail overcoming time-consuming procedural hurdles laid out by conservative senators that could take up all of next week. ... While Mr. Reid believes he can strip the health-care cuts from the House bill, Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas), a leading foe of the health law, and his allies have the power to drag out the debate. There also is no guarantee that the House would go along with the simple funding extension that Senate Democrats want to pass (Hughes and Hook, 9/20).

Los Angeles Times: House Votes To Defund Obamacare As Shutdown Battle Escalates
The House has taken about 40 symbolic votes to curtail the 2010 Affordable Care Act. The Senate has either rejected or refused to consider those bills. Democratic leaders say the outcome will be no different now. The Senate is expected to strip out the measure to stop the health law next week and send the bill back to the House with just days to go before the shutdown deadline. ... A number of Senate Republicans have criticized the defunding approach, arguing the party would be held responsible by the public for a shutdown. Even Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), a chief proponent of the strategy, has acknowledged that Reid likely has enough votes to return a spending bill to the House without the Obamacare provision (Memoli, 9/20). 

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