KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

House Passes Budget With Big Medicare, Medicaid Changes

The plan would reduce spending by $5.1 trillion over 10 years and includes an overhaul of both Medicare and Medicaid as well as cuts to other government programs. It would also repeal the health law but stands little chance of passing in the Senate.

Los Angeles Times: GOP-Led House Approves Tough Paul Ryan Budget, But Debate Continues
With little drama Thursday, House Republicans easily approved a largely symbolic budget proposal from Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), closing out a floor debate over spending priorities and opening a new front on the midterm campaign trail. … Ryan's proposal would overhaul Medicare for the next generation of seniors, boost defense spending beyond Obama's levels and slash most other domestic spending on college aid, food stamps and basic government investments. Tax rates for the wealthy would be cut to a top rate of 25 percent (Mascaro, 4/10).

The New York Times: House-Passed Budget Shows Parties' Divergence
The move underscored the different universes the two parties occupy as election season heats up. Democrats see the budget, which passed on Thursday in a 219-to-205 vote, as a political millstone, with brutal cuts to popular government programs, sweeping and controversial changes to Medicare, and tax cuts for the rich. Republicans consider it a modest step (Weisman, 4/10).

The Wall Street Journal: Republican Budget Plan Narrowly Passes House
Under Mr. Ryan's plan, the average annual growth in federal spending would slow to 3.5 percent from its current path of 5.2 percent. To eliminate the annual federal budget deficit, the budget would reduce spending by $5.1 trillion over 10 years and overhaul social safety-net programs, including Medicare and Medicaid. The Ryan plan also would repeal the Affordable Care Act, but it incorporates some $700 billion in Medicare savings and $1 trillion in revenues generated under the 2010 health law (Peterson, 4/10).

Politico: House Passes Ryan Budget
The House approved a fiscal 2015 budget on Thursday that would cut federal spending by $5 trillion and significantly revamp social welfare programs. The measure, which cleared the House 219-205, is essentially a political document that has no chance of being passed in the Democratic-controlled Senate. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is expected to relinquish his gavel at the end of this Congress and his final budget is seen as more of an outline of Republican priorities, including the repeal of Obamacare (French, 4/10).

In other news from Capitol Hill --

NBC News: Boehner: GOP Still 'Building Consensus' On Obamacare Alternative
House Speaker John Boehner says Republicans are still "building a consensus" about an alternative to the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010. Asked by NBC News when House Republicans might unveil the long-awaited substitute, Boehner replied: "We're building a consensus, we'll see." Many of Boehner's fellow Republicans have been calling for leaders to move a bill on the floor in advance of the looming midterm elections (Russert, 4/10).

Politico: Vulnerable Democrats Wait Out Obamacare Hits
Conservative outside groups have pummeled Senate Democrats over their support for Obamacare, spending millions on attack ads from Louisiana to Montana. But many of the most endangered Democratic incumbents have decided it's better to wait out the barrage than to respond in-kind (Raju, 4/11).

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