KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Public Health Prevention Fund At Center Of Partisan Clash On Student Loans

House Republicans are eyeing the fund as a means to offset the costs of extending the current interest rates for student loans, but Democrats have other plans.

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Boehner Berates Obama's College Visits As Dems, GOP Fight Intensifies Over Student Loans
Their chief remaining dispute is how to pay for the $5.9 billion cost of keeping those rates low. When it comes to that, each side has in effect taken a political hostage: House Republicans would cut spending from Obama's prized health care overhaul law, Senate Democrats would boost payroll taxes on owners of some private corporations and House Democrats would erase federal subsidies to oil and gas companies (4/26).

Los Angeles Times: Pelosi Calls Plan To Gut Public Health Fund Another Assault On Women
As the battle intensifies over keeping student loan interest rates low, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called the Republican plan to gut a public health fund to pay for it "another assault on women's health" (Mascaro, 4/26).

Politico Pro: Clash Over Prevention Funding Escalates
Democrats on Capitol Hill say they'll block a Republican proposal to take billions out of the health care reform law’s Prevention and Public Health Fund to prevent a student loan interest rate hike this summer. Picking up on the campaign season "war on women" theme, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi accused Republicans of robbing women of cancer screenings and immunization for their children with their plan to cut $11.9 billion from the fund in the next 10 years (Haberkorn, 4/26).

CQ HealthBeat: Sebelius Cautions as House Readies Student Loan Bill
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius warned lawmakers Thursday against repealing a health care overhaul fund that congressional Republicans have targeted to pay for maintaining the current federal student loan interest rate (Attias, 4/26).

National Journal: Health Group Rally For Public Health Fund
Public health groups are rallying the troops to try to help preserve the public health fund created under the 2010 health reform law, which Republicans now say they’ll raid to help pay for a student loan program. Republicans call it a slush fund, while public health experts who called for the fund say it protects vital programs from the vagaries of year-to-year Congressional funding fights – fights like this one (Fox, 4/27).

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