KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Inside The ‘Most Radical Of Any Of The Republican Health Care Bills’ Debated This Year

For all the last-minute rush surrounding the measure from Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), the bill is actually the most far-reaching the Republicans have tried to pass yet. Media outlets take a look at what exactly is in the bill and what it does.

The New York Times: Latest Obamacare Repeal Effort Is Most Far-Reaching
For decades, Republicans have dreamed of taking some of the vast sums the federal government spends on health care entitlements and handing the money over to states to use as they saw best. Now, in an 11th-hour effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the party has come up with a way to repackage the funding for the law it loathes into a trillion-dollar pot of state grants. The plan is at the core of the bill that Senate Republican leaders have vowed to bring to a vote next week. It was initially seen as a long-shot effort by Senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy. But for all its ad hoc, last-minute feel, it has evolved into the most far-reaching repeal proposal of all. (Zernike, Abelson and Goodnough, 9/21)

The Wall Street Journal: Q&A: How The Graham-Cassidy Plan Would Change Health Coverage
The Graham-Cassidy bill would lump together the money spent on two ACA programs to expand health coverage: subsidies for private insurance and an expansion of the Medicaid program. That funding would be redistributed as block grants to states that could use it to fashion their own health systems. All of the bill’s health spending would end in 2027 and need to be reauthorized by Congress. The bill also makes structural changes to Medicaid by capping how much federal money states can get. A similar proposal, contained in the Republicans’ last effort to repeal parts of the ACA, would have resulted in 15 million people losing health coverage in a decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office. (Hackman, 9/21)

The Washington Post: How Many With Preexisting Conditions Would Be Priced Out Of Coverage Under Cassidy-Graham?
The easiest way to understand the debate over preexisting conditions in health-care coverage — a debate fueled this week by Jimmy Kimmel’s repeated disparagement of the new Republican plan to overhaul Obamacare — is to look at the Obamacare website. As of writing, Healthcare.gov explains what protections the Affordable Care Act provides to those with conditions that, before the bill’s passage, may have resulted in denial of coverage or sharply increased premiums. (Bump, 9/21)

The New York Times: The G.O.P. Bill Forces States To Build Health Systems From Scratch. That’s Hard.
In 2003, health care policy makers in Massachusetts agreed that the state should build a system to expand coverage to its uninsured residents. It took four years before Romneycare was fully up and running. In between, politicians had to think hard about how they wanted the system to work: how money would be raised and spent, what benefits would be offered, whether and how markets should be used to distribute coverage, whether people who didn’t buy coverage should be penalized. (Sanger-Katz, 9/21)

The Hill: GOP ObamaCare Repeal Takes New Step In Nixing Medicaid Expansion
The Senate GOP's last-ditch effort to repeal ObamaCare goes farther than past bids to rein in the law’s Medicaid expansion, barring states from extending the expansion past 2019 even if they use their own money. An earlier GOP repeal bill would have let states keep the program, but that is eliminated under the legislation crafted by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.), which could come up for a Senate vote next week. (Sullivan, 9/21)

Roll Call: Healthcare.gov Could Be Crippled Under Latest GOP Obamacare Repeal Proposal
A federal health exchange the government spent over $1 billion to create would likely be made obsolete by the recent GOP proposal to gut the 2010 health law. Policy experts say the Department of Health and Human Services would still be required to maintain healthcare.gov under the proposal from Republican Sens. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Dean Heller of Nevada. But the bill would axe a provision in the current law that addresses the website’s role in determining eligibility for insurance subsidies. The removal of that provision, experts say, would likely prevent any state from utilizing it for the purposes of operating their own insurance exchange. (Williams, 9/22)

CNN: 4 Charts That Explain What Graham-Cassidy Will Do
Senate Republicans continue to push forward on a plan to hold a vote sometime next week on legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The bill, which is sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, and Bill Cassidy, R-Louisiana, still lacks the 50 votes it needs -- although Graham this week expressed confidence that they would get there. (Cillizza and Petulla, 9/22)

CNN Money: Millions Could Be Left Uninsured Under Obamacare Repeal Bill
"There will be more people covered," Cassidy said on CNN's New Day on Wednesday. Cassidy, however, is one of the few who feel this way. Many in the health care community -- doctors, hospitals and policy experts -- say it's more a question of how many people will lose their insurance. (Luhby, 9/22)

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